Man dies at Gatwick as flight cancellation chaos continues

As information emerged of a tragedy involving a disabled passenger who had simply arrived at Gatwick, the airport has introduced plans to cap operations in July and August.

The announcement to curtail departures and arrivals was deliberate earlier than the incident on Wednesday on the airport’s North Terminal involving a passenger who had arrived on an easyJet flight.

The Sun reports that whereas the passenger’s spouse, who additionally required particular help, was taken off the Airbus jet, he was left behind. After ready for an hour, he determined to attempt to make his personal approach from the plane into the terminal. He fell on an escalator, sustaining deadly accidents.

Members of easyJet cabin crew who witnessed the accident tried to offer help however had been unable to save lots of him.

The loss of life highlights the useful resource shortages at Gatwick and different airports.

At least 50 easyJet departures and arrivals had been grounded at Gatwick on Thursday, together with additional flights on British Airways and Wizz Air. An estimated 10,000 passengers didn’t journey as booked.

Stuart Dempster, who hoped to fly from Lisbon to Gatwick, tweeted: “@easyJet cancels our flight at short notice from Lisbon to London, with the usual chaotic ‘help’ to support passengers. Rebooked with @tapairportugal tomorrow, in the hope we’ll get home. Never gonna fly easyJet again!”

Now, two weeks earlier than the beginning of the July-August peak season, Gatwick airport’s bosses have requested airways to trim their proposed schedules within the hope “that passengers experience a more reliable and better standard of service”.

The plan is to make cuts now, reasonably than threat additional distressing “on the day” cancellations.

On the busiest days, airways shall be instructed to cancel as much as 50 flights – requiring hundreds of passengers already booked on them to seek out different departures.

An airport assertion mentioned: “After a significant and rapid upturn in traffic, Gatwick airport is working with airlines to implement deliverable timetables to help prevent short notice and last-minute cancellations.

“Under-resourced airline ground handling companies will cause poor service this summer and delays, unless urgent action is taken.”

The airport has agreed with airways to cut back deliberate operations from a most of 900 departures and arrivals to 825 in July and 850 in August.

Airport Coordination Ltd, the physique that assigns take-off and touchdown “slots” at Gatwick and different hubs, will stipulate the variety of cancellations that every airline should make.

Passengers on easyJet will bear the brunt of the cancelled flights, with British Airways, Wizz Air, Tui, Norwegian and Ryanair additionally anticipated to floor departures.

Under European air passengers’ rights guidelines, any passenger whose flight is cancelled can insist on being rebooked on the identical day if a seat is on the market, even when it requires the airline that grounds the unique departure to pay for a ticket on a rival airline.

The airport’s chief govt, Stewart Wingate, mentioned: “Gatwick prepared well for the restart of international travel by successfully reopening our South Terminal.

“We are also working closely with our airlines to avoid disruption to passengers this summer, and while more newly recruited staff will start work in coming weeks, we know it will be a busy summer.

“However, it is clear that during the Jubilee week a number of companies operating at the airport struggled in particular, because of staff shortages.

“By taking decisive action now, we aim to help the ground handlers – and also our airlines – to better match their flying programmes with their available resources.

“As has already been the case, the vast majority of flights over the summer will operate as normal, and the steps taken today mean that our passengers can expect a more reliable and better standard of service, while also improving conditions for staff working at the airport.”


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