EasyJet cut its summer schedule last month | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter


British low-cost airline easyJet said cancellations and delays caused by staff shortages at airports and in the air had cost it 133 million pounds ($160.3 million) in the three months to end June, but it added that operations had improved in July.

"We have taken action to build the additional resilience needed this summer and the operation has now normalised," Chief Executive Johan Lundgren said, after the group reported a headline loss before tax of 114 million pounds for the quarter.

An "unprecedented ramp up" in aviation, coupled with a tight labour market, had resulted in operational challenges culminating in higher levels of cancellations than normal, it said.

EasyJet cut its summer schedule last month, in part to comply with caps imposed by London Gatwick and Amsterdam Schiphol airports, to stabilise its operations and minimise passenger disruption. Despite the problems, it said it had operated 95% of its planned schedule in the quarter and had flown 22 million passengers. It said July, August and September was currently 71% booked, with a load factor slightly ahead of 2019 and sold ticket yield 13% above pre-pandemic levels.

In the meantime, the strike by Ryanair's Spanish cabin crew has left a total of four flights cancelled and another 33 delayed, according to the unions today.

The four cancellations have occurred on two flights between Barcelona-El Prat and London airports (outbound and return) and two others between Madrid and Palma (also outbound and return).

In terms of delays, the strike caused a total of 33 operational delays (10 departures and 23 arrivals) in the early hours of this morning.

The most affected is Barcelona-El Prat airport with a total of 12 delays (four departures and eight arrivals), followed by Malaga with five delays, Alicante with four, Madrid with three, and Seville, Valencia, Santiago de Compostela and Palma with two delays each, and Ibiza with one delay in arrivals.

The Irish low-cost airline's flight attendants have been called to new days of strike action this week, specifically from Monday, 25 July, until Thursday, 28 July.

The organisers, the USO and Sitcpla unions, are calling on the airline to resume negotiating a collective agreement "that includes decent working conditions under Spanish law for its workers".

The unions will discuss further action at the beginning of the week, which could include an indefinite strike. It could start as early as the first week of next month, coinciding with one of the biggest departure operations of the year.