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Software failure grounds 200 easyJet flights

EasyJet has cancelled hundreds of flights (PA)
EasyJet has cancelled hundreds of flights (PA)

Airline easyJet has apologised to customers after a software failure forced it to cancel around 200 flights.

The company initially announced that the flights affected would be those departing between 1pm and 3pm UK time on Thursday, but later said the disruption could last longer.

In an updated statement, the airline said: “easyJet can confirm that the earlier IT systems issues have now been rectified.

“Unfortunately, they resulted in some cancellations earlier today and while we expect to operate most of our remaining flying programme some may still be subject to some disruption in the coming hours.”

The disruption has left holidaymakers stranded abroad and complaining about the lack of notice they were given.

Devan Lonsdale, 24, from Durham, was due to travel with eight friends from Manchester Airport for a holiday that had already been cancelled due to Covid.

“We left Newcastle at 6am and got to the airport for 10am as our flight was 1.20pm,” he told PA.

“We were called to the gate at 12.35pm and the gate was due to close at 12.50pm but at 1pm it hadn’t budged.

“People started walking off one by one to be told that the flight was cancelled and no replacement, so we were stuck in Manchester.

“We’ve had to pay for hotel etc in Manchester and are now going to go back home tomorrow – (we) have looked for alternate flights to Prague and other locations for a reasonable price so we could make use of our days off work we have used, but found nothing but flights £500+ with multiple stops.

“Only time will tell what easyJet will say and how much money we will get but we will no doubt lose money overall and a four-day holiday.”

One woman claimed that would-be passengers were told their flight had been cancelled just 10 minutes before they were due to board the plane.

Others have been stuck at some of the UK’s biggest airports, including Gatwick and Stansted.

Both Edinburgh and Luton have seen seven arrivals and seven departures cancelled, while nine flights from Manchester have been affected.

The statement from easyJet added: “We advise customers due to travel with us to continue to check Flight Tracker for the status of their flight before making their way to the airport.

“We apologise for the inconvenience caused and customers can apply for compensation in line with regulations.”