Jun 1. Britain’s Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has told airlines to stop selling tickets for flights they cannot staff after a spate of cancellations caused widespread disruption for holidaymakers.
Airports across Europe have struggled to cope with a post-pandemic rebound in demand, but British airports are facing a particularly difficult week as a school half-term holiday combines with a long public holiday weekend to mark Queen Elizabeth’s 70 years on the throne.
Airports faced similar queues over the Easter vacation earlier this year and Shapps said that while some steps had been taken, there had not been the progress that is needed.
But they have struggled to recruit staff after the turmoil of the pandemic, and complain it is taking longer to recruit new employees and vet them for security clearance.
Shapps said the government had helped the industry by changing the law to speed up the recruitment of staff, adding that the “government has done its part.”
However Huw Merriman, chair of parliament’s Transport Select Committee, said government had in fact told airlines to fly by saying they had to use 70% of their flight slots or lose them, adding that Shapps’ language was unhelpful.