Simon Calder warns of further travel disruption amid air traffic chaos: ‘Be prepared!’

Simon Calder warns of further travel disruption amid air traffic chaos: ‘Be prepared!’
Georgia Pearce

By Georgia Pearce

Published: 15/09/2023

- 13:11

Simon Calder has issued a warning to air travellers, as the air traffic control issues continue to rumble on.

Speaking on The Live Desk, the travel expert warned of ‘further delays and disruption’ following sicknesses at Gatwick Airport.

Calder said: “Nine days ago at Gatwick, we had an air traffic controller going sick. And that led to exactly what we saw last night, which is dozens of diversions, long delays and cancellations and exactly as you say, thousands of people waking up where they really don't want to be.

"I can tell you exactly what happened because I've been finding this out from NATS. And effectively they've got three people working in the control tower at Gatwick.

"Bear in mind this looks after the busiest runway in the world. Sadly, yesterday afternoon one of them went sick. And personally, I'd always of course want absolutely in such a safety critical job people to be 100 per cent. And if they're not, then indeed they should of course not continue to work.”

Calder continued: “But with only two of them instead of three, they had to reduce the so-called arrival flow rate. That meant that planes were just disappearing all over the place. They were going to Bournemouth, to Stansted, to Luton, to Cardiff, to Brussels, and many flights later in the evening were cancelled. EasyJet alone, I calculated 16 flights. So a real, real mess.

“As always with travel, particularly involving the UK, we've got more rail strikes on the way. Of course, hope for the best, but be prepared for delays and disruption.”

Watch the interview in full above.

Tune in to The Live Desk, Monday to Friday from 12pm, only on GB News.

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