Brits warned of ‘major’ flight delays again this summer due to strikes and soaring demand | The Sun

BRITS are being warned to expect "major" flight delays this summer due to soaring demand once again.

Last summer saw huge airport delays, cancelled flights and lost luggage as holidaymakers headed abroad post-Covid.

And Eurocontrol, the air traffic management body across Europe warned: "We anticipate a risk of major air traffic flow management [ATFM] delays.”

It said they were working on "mitigation measures" to prepare ahead for the summer, which can include rerouting flights and reducing airport capacity.

However, due to the soaring demand from holidaymakers after years of closed borders, more delays are to be expected.

It continued: "Getting closer to pre-pandemic traffic levels will not be easy.

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"Ramping back up close to 90 per cent of 2019 traffic over the summer caused immense difficulties."

Other problems cited include closed airspace over Russia, especially affecting flights to and from Asia, as well as a lack of staff.

"Airspace unavailability [due to the war in Ukraine] will continue to disrupt flows and put pressure on certain sectors [of airspace]."

Eamonn Brennan, Eurocontrol director general, warned: "2023 is set to be the most challenging year of the last decade. Keeping summer delays down will be an immense task."

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Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary shared similar sentiments about summer delays.

He warned that the threatened strikes of air traffic control in France risked "shutting everybody down" this summer.

He said: "The real pressure will be on Germany because of the situation in Ukraine.

“All the long-haul stuff going to Asia now has to fly down around Germany and across Romania, out over Iran, because they can’t fly over Russia.

"So there is real pressure on Germany, northern Italy, those kinds of corridors there and that’s going to be a challenge.”

The EU has also delayed a huge new system for travellers, which is expected to cause chaos at the borders.

The new entry/exit system (EES) will replace the stamping of passports when entering and leaving countries within the EU.

It was originally due to start from the end of 2022 – this was pushed back to May 2023 and has since been delayed again until the end of 2023.

In September, port chiefs at Dover warned that the new system could extend checks from 45 seconds to as much as 10 minutes.

Austria warned that process times would at least "double compared to the current situation" while Croatia said that border checks would "certainly be significantly longer".

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Brits will also need a new visa-waiver to visit Europe this year.

The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) will cost Brits an extra €7 (£6).

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