Travel board at an airport. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter

A British minister said the travel industry has had months to prepare for the half-term rush and should have had staff in place - as hundreds of flights have been cancelled including some to Mallorca. Lord Parkinson, the arts minister, told Sky News' Kay Burley that the Department for Transport has been working with the travel and aviation industry to ensure they could get people away for half-term and Jubilee weekend breaks.

"We have been on a long pathway back to recovery so that people can enjoy this moment and (companies) should be making sure that people are able to get away on holiday and enjoy it fully," he said.

"We have been, for many months, urging them to make sure they've got enough staff."

There are "lots of opinionated people in the aviation industry", Lord Parkinson said, in reference to some of the airline bosses who have blamed the government for staff shortages resulting in long airport delays and flight cancellations over the past few days."But we have been working with people across the sector to make sure that they are preparing for the reopening of the economy and of travel, after the pandemic abated," he said.

The government has been using "post-Brexit freedoms" to make sure people can be hired more quickly, he said, and the aviation industry has been encouraged to use those freedoms to get more staff in.