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  • BBC

5,000 people hit by Heathrow flight cancellations

Around 30 flights carrying up to 5,000 passengers have been cancelled at Heathrow Airport due to technical issues affecting baggage.

The airport asked airlines to cut 10% of flights from schedules across terminals two and three on Monday.

It comes after problems at baggage reclaim areas, with images of luggage being piled up high emerging last week.

Elsewhere, EasyJet announced plans to cut 7% of its 160,000 flights scheduled between July and September.

The move came after Gatwick, EasyJet's main airport, said it will reduce the number of flights taking off from its airport during the peak summer season because of staff shortages.

Tens of thousands of passengers have been hit by airport disruption and flight cancellations in recent weeks.

The BBC understands some airlines might be able to combine flights at Heathrow meaning some passengers will not have their journeys postponed.

Heathrow said cutting the number of flights would "minimise" the impact of the technical issues affecting baggage systems.

"We apologise unreservedly for the disruption passengers have faced over the course of this weekend," the company said.

British Airways, which operates from terminals three and five, told the BBC it had made a "small number of cancellations" as a result of the airport's request.

It understood BA will be able to re-accommodate the vast majority of customers onto new flights.

Hundreds of flights across the UK were cancelled during the week of the Platinum Jubilee and half-term holidays, and concerns have been raised of further travel woes during the summer.

The disruption has been caused by several factors, but staff shortages has left the aviation industry struggling to cope with resurgent demand.

As well as Gatwick, EasyJet also confirmed there would be flight cancellations at other airports across the airline's network including Amsterdam's Schiphol hub but it has not yet worked out a precise number.

Last week, Schiphol said it would cap the number of passengers allowed at the airport over summer, leading to a 16% fall in planned flights.

EasyJet said customers would be given advance notice and the potential to rebook onto alternative flights. It added many would be able to rebook on the same day they had originally planned to travel.

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