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EasyJet operations chief quits amid growing anger over flight chaos

EasyJet’s chief operating officer Peter Bellew has resigned amid growing anger over flight disruption (Gareth Fuller/PA)
EasyJet’s chief operating officer Peter Bellew has resigned amid growing anger over flight disruption (Gareth Fuller/PA)

EasyJet’s chief operating officer Peter Bellew has resigned amid growing anger over flight disruption.

The airline has been one of the worst hit for cancellations in recent months.

It has axed thousands of flights, including many on the day they were due to depart.

EasyJet boss Johan Lundgren
EasyJet boss Johan Lundgren insisted everyone at the airline is ‘absolutely focused on delivering a safe and reliable operation’ (Matt Alexander/PA)

EasyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren said: “I would like to thank Peter for his hard work and wish him well.

“Everyone at easyJet remains absolutely focused on delivering a safe and reliable operation this summer.”

Mr Bellew, who joined easyJet from Ryanair two-and-a-half years ago, resigned to “pursue other business opportunities”, according to the Luton-based carrier.

The airline’s statement continued: “EasyJet remains absolutely focused on our daily operation and continues to monitor this very closely, having taken pre-emptive action to build further resilience for the summer due to the current operating environment.

“The airline continues to operate up to 1,700 flights each day and carry up to 250,000 passengers.”

The aviation sector is struggling to cope with the rising demand for travel amid staff shortages and difficulties obtaining security clearance for new recruits.

Trade union Unite last month claimed there was a “lack of leadership” within easyJet, and Mr Bellew should be “taking control of this situation”.

EasyJet announced last month it would scrap thousands of summer flights in a bid to avoid last-minute cancellations.

The move was also in response to caps introduced by Gatwick and Amsterdam Schiphol airports.

In May, the carrier expected its capacity to be at around 97% of 2019 levels between July and September, but that has been reduced to 90%.

EasyJet has appointed David Morgan – who has been with the airline since 2016 – as interim chief operations officer.

Mr Lundgren said: “I am pleased that operations will be in the very capable hands of David Morgan who can move seamlessly into this role having previously led the operation, as interim chief operating officer, throughout 2019.

“David has significant experience and deep knowledge of the business and operation, and will provide strong leadership for the airline this summer.”