Crisis at Easyjet: canceled flights, computer bug, lack of personnel… Where is the situation?

Crisis at Easyjet: canceled flights, computer bug, lack of personnel... Where is the situation?

the essential
Between computer bug and lack of personnel, the EasyJet company has faced a series of problems in recent days which have prompted it to cancel several hundred flights.

Ascension weekend was partly marked by the cancellation of more than 200 EasyJet flights. In France, the airports of Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle, Lyon, Nice, but also Toulouse, were particularly concerned. And new flights will still be canceled in the coming days.

Computer problem

It all started on Thursday May 26, the day of great departure for millions of French people who were enjoying a four-day weekend for the Ascension Bridge. During the day, the company EasyJet communicates: more than 200 of the 1,700 flights scheduled for that day must be canceled at the last minute, sometimes even while passengers are in the boarding corridor.

These flights “were affected by a problem related to the computer systems”, says the company, which underlines that the problem “was solved in a few hours”. Nevertheless, the damage is done. And users are disillusioned.

Hey EasyJet, it’s nice how you treat your customers, it will be a night at the airport for me without a backup solution before next Thursday to return to France and without support from you (hotel, meals…) #easyJet ud83dude20ud83dude20ud83dude20

— adrien rousseau (@zglouglou) May 26, 2022

Are you trying to win the worst airline of the year contest @easyJet? Is it normal to cancel a flight while all passengers are in the departure lounge, without giving any reason and without proposing any replacement flight?

— Camille Niechcicki (@Chamomile) May 26, 2022

No airport in Europe seems spared. In France, Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle, Lyon, Nice, or even Toulouse are concerned, with more than twenty flights from these cities to the United Kingdom, Morocco, Portugal, Italy or Spain, all canceled.

The origin of the computer problem responsible for these serial cancellations is not yet known. It has not yet been, at least, communicated by the company. The hypothesis of a computer hack, as the company suffered in May 2020, nevertheless seems to be ruled out, according to an expert in the sector who speaks to The Midi Dispatch. At the time, in fact, EasyJet had made no mystery of this hack.

Still, on Friday May 27, and although the problem was solved at the computer level, “a few flights were unfortunately impacted by a domino effect” on the EasyJet network, noted the company.

Lack of staff

In addition to this computer problem and in the wake of more than 200 flights canceled unexpectedly on Thursday, EasyJet announced on Saturday May 28 that a similar number of flights would have to be canceled until June 6.

To justify these cancellations, the company once again evokes the consequences of the computer problems encountered, but also concerns related to a lack of personnel. Since the resumption of air traffic at frequencies comparable to what the sector could experience before the Covid crisis, companies as a whole are indeed facing serious recruitment problems.

This is how around 24 flights departing from Gatwick airport will be canceled each day until June 6, the company announced. To find out if your flight is affected, EasyJet uses a dedicated search engine.

We apologize to all customers whose flights have been affected by IT system issues. You can check your flight status here >>>

— easyJet (@easyJet) May 26, 2022

Recently, the company also eliminated six seats in some of its A319s in order to reduce the crew necessary for these flights to a single person and at least partially counter this lack of personnel. But this is not completely enough.

“Customers […] have the option of rebooking their flight or receiving a refund and may claim compensation in accordance with the regulations,” the group said.

More issues to come?

For the moment, the company has not made any additional communication on possible new flight cancellations after the date of June 6. But the problems related to the lack of personnel – which also suffer several other companies – should not disappear, say specialists in the sector.

However, the twenty daily cancellations announced by EasyJet are not extraordinary either, slips us an expert. “It does not even represent 2% of EasyJet’s traffic in the end, because the company operates more than 1,500 daily flights today. And other companies, like Transavia for example, have a cancellation rate of the same order without it making so much noise”, we are told.