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UK tells airports and airlines to avoid summer disruption

·1-min read
FILE PHOTO: Passengers queue for check in outside Terminal 1 at Manchester Airport

LONDON (Reuters) -Britain told airlines it was up to them to avoid a repeat of recent chaotic scenes at airports during the upcoming summer holiday season, publishing a 22-point plan on Thursday on what it was doing to support the industry.

"It's now on airports and airlines to commit to running the flights they've promised or cancel them with plenty of time to spare so we can avoid the kind of scenes we saw at Easter and half term," transport minister Grant Shapps said in a statement.

The year has so far been marked by widespread disruption including long queues and cancelled flights caused by staff shortages, leaving airlines and airports struggling to keep up with pent-up demand after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government last week relaxed rules around airport slots to allow airlines to devise realistic flight schedules and avoid last minute cancellations.

This morning Sky News reported Britain's busiest airport Heathrow has had to request airlines to cancel 30 scheduled flights due to passenger numbers exceeding the airport's capacity. The airport did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for a comment.

(Reporting by Muvija M and William James, Editing by Kylie MacLellan)

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