It can’t all be COVID. Chaos with flights across Britain.

Not all flight cancellations are inexplicable but even journalists are starting to ask why is Britain experiencing so much chaos with commercial flights.

The main explanations being given are COVID-related.  But there many factors which are nothing to do with COVID.  As here.

Add to that that there are many inexplicable issues occurring with pilots Squawking 7700, and flights bizarrely turning around and landing before they reach their allotted destination.

There are perennial problems that have been thrown into the mix: malfunctioning e-gates causing queues at the border at Heathrow, and British Airways has recently been hit by a recurrence of its IT issues, glitches that caused numerous cancellations.

What is behind the disruption at UK airports?

Long check-in queues and flight cancellations come as travellers try to get away for Easter

Passengers queue for check-in at Manchester airport's Terminal 2 on 4 April 2022
Passengers queue for check-in at Manchester airport’s Terminal 2. Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

With the Easter break now under way, passengers at UK airports have been facing severe disruption to their plans, with long delays and hundreds of flights cancelled. Why has this been happening and what can be done?

What has caused the cancellations?

In brief, Covid-19. The relatively sudden lifting of UK pandemic restrictions has resulted in soaring demand for travel, after two years when the coronavirus testing and “traffic light” regime had made holidays either impossible or an expensive risk. This has been accompanied by a huge increase in Covid cases across the UK, to which aviation staff are obviously not immune.

Where is it worst?

Out of the airlines, easyJet seems to be suffering most, with Covid having infected large numbers of crew at its Gatwick base in particular. British Airways has only cancelled a few flights because of sickness.

Sickness rates have contributed to problems for some airports – but airports such as Manchester are mainly struggling to recruit staff quickly enough to meet demand for the busiest Easter getaway since 2019.

An easyJet plane takes off from London Gatwick bound for Glasgow on 22 March 2022.
EasyJet has been affected by staff absences because of Covid-19. Photograph: Matt Alexander/PA

What has happened at Manchester?

Passengers at Manchester already faced hours of queues for check-in, security and baggage reclaim even before Easter, and the situation looks unlikely to be resolved soon. In common with most airports, airlines and aviation suppliers (such as baggage handlers or security firms), Manchester’s staff were largely furloughed, and hundreds were laid off during the pandemic, when leisure travel was all but stopped for long periods. But Manchester appears to have been less prepared than airports such as Gatwick, which reopened its second terminal smoothly last week.

Is it the same everywhere?

Heathrow, too, says it will need another 1,000 staff for summer. Recruitment is less easy than airports may have hoped: workers are in demand across other sectors, with big incentives for trainee drivers, for example. Airports not only need to recruit the right staff but put them through rigorous vetting procedures for security. This Home Office process has also faced some delays, airports claim.

Unions are blunter. Unite’s general secretary, Sharon Graham, said: “We warned the aviation sector repeatedly not to use the cover of Covid to slash jobs and pay … Now the sector is suffering from a chronic inability to attract new staff because workers are not attracted to an industry where pay is poor and conditions are lousy.”

While the UK has lifted most Covid restrictions, not all countries have, meaning some additional checks.

People queue to check in at Heathrow Terminal 5 on Monday 4 April.
People queue to check in at Heathrow Terminal 5. Photograph: Steve Parsons/PA

Is it all Covid?

There are perennial problems that have been thrown into the mix: malfunctioning e-gates causing queues at the border at Heathrow, and British Airways has recently been hit by a recurrence of its IT issues, glitches that caused numerous cancellations.

Article from The Guardian.

Add to the flights situation, motorways are not doing much better, with numerous ‘unexplained’ accidents occurring, blocking roads.  That could be COVID related with vaccinated drivers having seizures on the road.

Russia will no doubt be jamming radars across Britain including the listening post at RAF Menwith Hill which spies on the world’s telecommunications.

Russia issued an ultimatum to Britain on April 13th, not reported in the main media, saying our continuing supplying Ukraine with materiel and men would have ‘unintended consequences’.  The next day the Junior Minister Of Defence replied to the ultimatum saying that Britain was indeed supplying Ukraine with weapons and with troops – not merely mercenaries.

On the 14th the munitions depot at RAF Welford blew up closing the M4 motorway in both directions.  Reported in only three newspapers and explained as a fireworks business fire…!

In the media Putin is a loser with no options.

Will Britain be closed down before people wake up to the fact that Putin is doing very well messing up Britain as part of his military campaign to stop us from meddling with Ukraine.

We need peace and negotiation with Russia.

To get that outcome, vote for and support the English Democrats the only political party seeking peace for Britain and the world.

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4 Responses to “It can’t all be COVID. Chaos with flights across Britain.”

  1. Occams says:

    Actually, it CAN ‘all be covid’.

    If your audience is dumb enough……

    You ought to see the number of 20’s to 50’s MEN here still wearing masks, alone, outside. Think they wouldn’t all believe ‘it’s all covid-related!’ ?

    • ian says:

      I was food shopping today Occams, and there are loads of fluoride eyed maskies of all ages going about. They’ll be the death of us all.

      • Occams says:

        I was up by a UC campus today, tons of Asian students. 90% masked, outside. Asians REALLY bought into this nonsense.

        By the way:

        You or anyone else notice drivers who ‘look’ like they were serious maskers and vaxxed – who just…..stop… the middle of the street while driving?

        I’m seeing this like once a day now. Just stopped. Just sitting there. Not on a phone, not an Uber or Lyft, not appearing to be looking for anything, just stopped, staring straight ahead.

  2. Tapestry says:

    East Midlands airport closed today with reason being given of a device in hand luggage. Yet no one arrested and threat not confirmed. There are all the excuses in the book being given for long delays at all airports every day with multiple flights cancelled. All the reasons bar maybe the real one that ATC is being disabled by jamming, flight control systems are failing and and booking systems are facing cyber attacks. Russia is hitting back in ways that bring chaos but don’t kill (hopefully). Motorways are also being blocked with accidents which Police say have no obvious cause. This is indeed preferable to a nuclear missile.

    Ports and ferries also affected by computer system failures in April

    Russia is well able to use cyber attacks on Britain. As well as the possible missile attacks. At some point the government will no longer be able to hide the fact that their Ukraine policies are wrecking the country.