dozens-more-flights-cancelled-ahead-of-easter-weekend-–-follow-live

Dozens More Flights Cancelled Ahead Of Easter Weekend – Follow Live

Ports also hit by further obstacles

Massive queues at Stansted Airport as staff shortages affect passengers

Wednesday has brought more flight cancellations at the UK’s airports as staff shortages continue to impact on travellers’ plans.

One airport recruitment expert said staffing issues could affect the aviation industry for the next year.

Kully Sandhu, the managing director of Aviation Recruitment Network Limited, told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme: “My personal opinion, it is going to take at least the next 12 months for the industry vacancy-wise to settle down.”

Meanwhile, easyJet and British Airways continue to cancel flights, having axed more than 70 scheduled services between them today.

Their main bases, London Heathrow and London Gatwick, are worst affected. Both airlines have blamed a shortage of staff due to Covid-related absences.

The UK’s ports are also being hit by issues this weekend, after it emerged that another P&O Ferries vessel was being detained by regulators. It is looking increasingly unlikely that the company will be able to resume Dover-Calais sailings this Easter weekend.

Follow the latest updates below.

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UK tourist visa fee rises to £100

As British tourism struggles to recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and a tangle of travel restrictions applied to arriving travellers, the government has raised the cost of a holiday visa to £100.

The 5.3 per cent rise in the “admission fee” to the UK took effect this month. It applies to visitors from the vast majority of nations, including the world’s two most populous countries: China and India.

Citizens of a wide range of countries with increasing numbers of outbound tourists, such as Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Thailand and Turkey require UK visas even for short holidays.

Read the full story:

Simon Calder13 April 2022 08:26

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All the flights cancelled today

Another day brings dozens more cancelled flights to and from the UK. Passengers attempting to jet off on their Easter holidays are encountering widespread flight cancellations at airports across the UK.

Once again British Airways and easyJet have grounded more than 70 services between them from their main bases, London Heathrow and London Gatwick, respectively.

See all of today’s flight cancellations here:

Simon Calder13 April 2022 08:07

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Good morning, and welcome to The Independent’s travel liveblog. We’ll be keeping you updated with all the latest news throughout the day.

Helen Coffey13 April 2022 07:53

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Man arrives 13 hours early for flight after panicking over airport queues

A man arrived at Manchester Airport 13 hours early for his flight after panicking that he might miss it due to the long security queues seen during the Easter holidays.

Tim Samunyai, 56, from Coventry, got to the airport for 5.40am on Sunday 10 April for his flight to to Zimbabwe – despite the scheduled departure time of 6.55pm.

The father of two admitted that “13 hours is a bit much, fair enough, but I’d rather be early”.

Read the full story:

Helen Coffey12 April 2022 17:50

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Government accused of being ‘missing in action’ while ‘Brits are facing travel chaos’

Labour’s shadow transport secretary Louise Haigh accused the Government of being “missing in action” while “Brits are facing travel chaos”.

She said: “They were warned about staffing shortages, and yet the Tories have comprehensively failed to take action to tackle the security backlog hampering recruitment.

“They need to get a grip, do their jobs, and act to ease the disruption by prioritising the huge backlogs in security checks so airport staff can safely begin work.”

Reporting by agencies

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‘Orient Express’ experience ends with a bus from Calais to Lille and Eurostar train

For many travellers paying £3,785 for an overnight train journey from Venice to London, the final leg is a grand finale.

They arrive at Calais aboard the Venice-Simplon-Orient Express. The antique carriages, up to 100 years old, are not allowed to go through the Channel Tunnel for safety reasons. Instead the passengers are taken by coach onto a shuttle through the tunnel to Folkestone, where they board another luxury train – the Belmond British Pullman – for the journey to London.

But between April and June, travellers who book the luxury trip offered by Belmond will have a very different experience.

The train will arrive at Calais Ville as normal, with passengers decanted to a bus. But instead of travelling on Eurotunnel for the 35-minute trip to Folkestone, they will spend 90 minutes driving directly away from the UK on the A16 and A25 motorways to Lille, close to the Belgian border.

Here the travellers will enter the draughty concrete station housing the Eurostar platforms, go through a security check and wait for a train from Brussels to London.

Read the full story:

Simon Calder12 April 2022 16:32

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Airport chaos could remain for another year amid staff shortage, experts warn

The chaos witnessed at the UK’s airports over the last few weeks could last for another year, experts have warned.

Hiring and training of airport staff takes time, particularly for posts with Border Force, which are recruited separately by the Home Office.

One airport recruitmenter has warned that the staffing issues currently causing havoc may take a year to get resolved.

Kully Sandhu, the managing director of Aviation Recruitment Network Limited, which recruits for Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester airports, told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme: “My personal opinion, it is going to take at least the next 12 months for the industry vacancy-wise to settle down.”

Read the full story:

Helen Coffey12 April 2022 16:13

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Lessons must be learnt from Easter travel chaos, says Which?

Looking ahead to the summer, there is no excuse for a repeat of this Easter’s travel “shambles”, according to Which?.

The consumer champion’s travel editor, Rory Boland, said: “Lessons should be learnt from the travel shambles this Easter. With many in the industry predicting a busy summer, the government must work with airlines and airports to ensure they have the resources and capacity to handle increased passenger numbers, as there can be no excuse for a repeat of these failings.

“Airlines wouldn’t be ignoring the law and their passengers’ rights if the aviation regulator had some teeth. The Department for Transport can support consumers by equipping the Civil Aviation Authority with direct fining powers. It should also drop its plans to change compensation rules for UK flights which are an important deterrent against passengers being treated unfairly.”

Helen Coffey12 April 2022 15:33

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101-year-old known as ‘Hurricane Hazel’ signs up to run Toronto Airport

An energetic 101-year-old former mayor has just signed up to another three years running Canada’s biggest airport.

Hazel McCallion – known as “Hurricane Hazel” – retired at 93 from her role as the mayor of Canadian city Missisauga, after 36 years in office.

Now she has renewed her contract as director of the Greater Toronto Airport Authority (GTAA), as well as staying on as special advisor to the University of Toronto Missisauga.

The GTAA runs Toronto Pearson Airport, Canada’s largest aviation hub which typically sees around 50 million passengers a year.

Read the full story:

Lucy Thackray12 April 2022 14:50

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Nearly three quarters of Brits holiday in same place every year, study suggests

Just under three quarters of Britons holiday in the same place year after year, new research suggests.

Norwegian Cruise Line’s survey of 2,000 British holidaymakers showed that 73 per cent have returned to the same hotel abroad several times, averaging four return visits.

More than a quarter said they liked seeing familiar faces on holiday, while 30 per cent said they enjoyed not having to plan very far ahead.

Some 58 per cent of respondents said they have not been abroad since the beginning of the pandemic.

Read the full story:

Lucy Thackray12 April 2022 14:28

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