Travellers embarking on overseas trips on Monday faced chaos as flights were cancelled and cross-Channel rail services were hit by major delays.
Airlines are suffering from staff shortages related to coronavirus sickness, leading to flights being grounded.
Eurotunnel warned its vehicle-carrying Le Shuttle rail services from Folkestone, Kent to Calais, France were delayed by three hours due to “a train stopped temporarily in the tunnel”.
The travel disruption is affecting many families heading abroad for the Easter school holiday, which is the first since the UK’s coronavirus restrictions for international travellers were dropped.
EasyJet cancelled 62 flights scheduled for Monday, after axing at least 222 flights across Saturday and Sunday.
Some holidaymakers reported being stuck abroad with no explanation or alternative route home offered by the airline.
A spokesman for the airline said: “As a result of the current high rates of Covid infections across Europe, like all businesses easyJet is experiencing higher than usual levels of employee sickness.”
The airline attempted to limit the impact on passengers by focusing cancellations on routes with multiple daily flights.
The spokesman added that the number of cancellations “represents a small proportion” of the total of 1,645 planned for Monday.
British Airways cancelled at least 115 flights to or from Heathrow Airport on Monday, although the PA news agency understands that only a handful were last-minute cancellations caused by coronavirus-related staff shortages.
The total includes many flights axed due to the airline’s recent decision to reduce its schedule until the end of May due to rising coronavirus cases.
It also suffered chaos on March 30 as flights were cancelled due to an IT meltdown.
The airline said: “Aviation has been one of the industries worst hit by the pandemic, and airlines and airports are experiencing the same issues rebuilding their operations while managing the continuing impact of Covid.”
Passengers at Heathrow and Manchester have reported long queues in recent days.
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