Flybe has cancelled dozens of flights this morning, blaming a mix of operational issues including a shortage of pilots and staff holidays.
Planes due to leave Southampton, Newcastle, Aberdeen and Edinburgh were impacted, as well as five flights from Belfast City Airport and four from Birmingham.
The airline, bought recently by a Virgin-led consortium, said it wanted to “sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused”.
“All customers affected have been emailed and advised they can rebook for travel on an alternative flight or apply for a full refund,” it added.
Passengers reacted with anger online after hearing of the cancellations.
Hoping all the @flybe cancellations are some sort of delayed April Fools! or maybe Ant & Dec are going to jump out at any moment and we are all going to have a laugh together about it all 🙄 #flymaybe #maybenot
— Niall O’Hara (@homobo) April 2, 2019
@flybe are an absolute shambles. Book a flight for family to come and watch the game tomo then get an email saying its cancelled. And of course they send the email 10 mins before customer service lines shut so doesn't give any 1 anytime to sort out. Its a joke
— Greg Halford (@GregHalford15) April 2, 2019
“Flybe sincerely apologises to all our customers and partners affected by the current flight cancellations,” a spokesperson said, claiming 95 per cent of flights are operating as usual.
“We are doing our best to mitigate the impact of the current situation that has arisen due to a combination of factors including seasonality, pilots’ end of leave year, Easter holidays, base restructuring and the shortage of pilots across the industry that Flybe has highlighted over recent months,” they added.
“We have already identified several mitigation actions and will be issuing further updates throughout the day.
“All those affected have been emailed and advised they can re-book for travel on an alternative flight or apply for a full refund.
“Customers are advised to regularly check our website for more details.”
A Flybe aircraft due to fly from Newquay to Heathrow was grounded on Monday due to a “technical issue”, leaving passengers with the option of a six-hour coach trip to reach their destination.
Flybe’s flight cancellation comes after its cut-price takeover by a consortium including Virgin Atlantic and Stobart, with shareholders getting a penny per share from the unpopular £2.2m deal.
Under the terms of that deal, Flybe received up to £20m to keep operating.
Last week Wow Air cancelled all flights as it desperately sought cash to secure funding to keep trading.
However, that bid failed and the debt-ridden firm shut down, leaving passengers stranded across the world.
Airlines are struggling to stay afloat at the moment, with those on the brink including Norwegian Air.