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Travel updates live – Thousands stranded abroad as Khan blames Brexit for flight chaos

Dozens of flights have already been cancelled on Sunday as Brits struggle to get home

Grant Shapps says Brexit is not to blame for airport chaos

Tens of thousands of Britons are stranded across airports all over Europe after yet another series of flight cancellations as the half-term travel chaos shows no signs of abating.

Many families and couples were due to return to the UK on Saturday but 100 flights were cancelled due to the ongoing issues with staff shortages that have plagued airports for months.

Dozens of flights have already been cancellled on Sunday, with the biggest issue at Gatwick where Wizz Air, British Airways and easyJet have grounded flights.

The lengthy queues, mass cancellations and horrendous delays passengers faced are the fault of Brexit, London mayor Sadiq Khan has said.

He has called on the government to relax immigration rules and allow European workers who were employed in the aviation industry before Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic to return in order to plug the labour shortage in the sector.

However, transport minister Grant Shapps outright dismissed calls to open the door to more “cheap” foreign workers in a bid to relieve the pressure on the aviation sector.

He accused travel bosses of “cutting too far” during the pandemic and said it was up to the sector to solve the issues.

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Blog closed

The travel coverage blog is now closed.

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More immigration not the answer to airport travel chaos, says Shapps

The Transport Secretary has rejected calls to open the door to more “cheap” foreign workers in a bid to relieve the pressure on the aviation sector.

Air passengers have faced days of disruption at Britain’s airports, with a total of 20 flights listed as cancelled at Gatwick Airport on Saturday, while 17 were marked as delayed.

Grant Shapps said he will “do absolutely everything possible to make sure” holidaymakers are able to get away without issues during the summer but stopped short of allowing a temporary migration influx to bridge the labour shortage.

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Eurostar recommends passengers ‘postpone trips’ due to power failure

In a tweet they said: “Due to a power problem in the Paris region, all our trains to and from Paris are subject to severe delays and cancellations. We strongly recommend all our passengers to postpone their trip if possible.”

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Unite boss blames government’s failure to attach job guarantees to furlough money for travel chaos

Unite boss Sharon Graham has blamed the government’s failure to attach job guarantees to Covid furlough money for the travel chaos passengers have faced.

She said on Twitter: “This shambles is on @GOVUK‘s failure to attach job guarantees to the £8billion in furlough wages it gave to airlines.

“There is now a chronic shortage of staff, if travel bosses don’t get their act together, this chaos could go on until next year.”

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What are my consumer rights if my flight has been cancelled?

Dozens of flights are being cancelled by airlines each day due to staff shortages and absences due to sickness.

British Airways, easyJet and Tui have all made the decision to cut back their summer schedules, with most routes being cancelled in advance and passengers notified.

Our travel correspondent Simon Calder runs through your consumer rights if your flight is cancelled.

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Airlines need to ‘follow the rules when flights are disrupted’ say consumer group Which?

Lisa Webb, a law expert at consumer rights group Which?, said airlines needed to “follow the rules when flights are disrupted” following a “hellish week” for travellers.

“The shameful scenes at UK airports this half-term are the result of an industry in which some airlines feel they can get away with ignoring consumer rights and acting with near impunity,” she said.

“It is clear that passenger rights need to be strengthened, so the Government must drop plans to cut compensation for delayed and cancelled flights and the Civil Aviation Authority must be given the power to issue direct fines so it can hold airlines to account when they flout the law.”

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Pictured: queues at Eurostar in Paris

The first image shows theGare du Nord terminal and the second is the Eurostar waiting room.

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Is travel and passport chaos the new normal for Global Britain?

This travel chaos and these passport delays don’t feel very much like the Brexit we were promised, writes Sean O’Grady.

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Grant Shapps rejects calls for ‘cheap’ foreign workers to solve airport chaos

Grant Shapps has rejected calls to open the door to more “cheap” foreign workers in a bid to relieve the pressure on the aviation sector.

The transport secretary said he will “do absolutely everything possible to make sure” holidaymakers are able to get away without issues during the summer but stopped short of allowing a temporary migration influx to bridge the labour shortage.

Mr Shapps, asked whether he would temporarily allow more foreign workers into the industry to alleviate staffing pressures, told the BBC’s Sunday Morning programme: “The answer can’t always be to reach for the lever marked ‘More immigration’.

“There is not some pull that is going to relieve this.”

Mr Shapps also denied that the UK’s divorce from Brussels was the main factor behind the chaos and queues seen at Britain’s airports over the four-day Platinum Jubilee break, pointing to large-scale disruption elsewhere in Europe.

Mr Shapps added that the Brexit vote had been about moving away from hiring “cheap labour from somewhere else”.

“I didn’t vote for Brexit but the country did and we’ve made our choice - we want a high-wage, high-skilled economy,” he said. That means the aviation sector, like all other sectors, and as the HGV, the lorry driving sector has now done, needs to change.”

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Eurostar update from Paris

Passengers scheduled for the 9.12am CEST train from Paris Gare du Nord have been told that their train should be ready to depart at 3.15pm CEST, six hours after it was initially scheduled to leave.

As this news was announced by members of the Eurostar team, there were cheers and clapping throughout the Eurostar waiting terminal, where passengers from four delayed trains have been waiting for close to five hours.

An earlier electrical fault just outside of Paris has been the cause for the Eurostar delays today, which has seen several trains from Paris to London cancelled as British holidaymakers try to return home for the end of the school holidays.

Passengers in the three other trains leading up to 12pm have been told they should be able to get home today too.

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