by Telegraph Reporters, The Telegraph, April 3, 2019
Flybe has cancelled dozens of flights today, blaming the disruption on too many of its pilots being on annual leave.
The airline is understood to have grounded at least 24 flights today after informing customers of the disruption last night through emails and text messages.
Airports where departures have been affected include Belfast, Birmingham, Southampton, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Newcastle. Thousands of passengers are believed to be affected.
Flybe said the cancellations were as a result of "operational reasons", adding 95 per cent of its journeys were operating as normal.
The company later released a statement indicating a "combination of factors" had resulted in its situation including pilots being unavailable through their end of leave year as well as a shortage of flight crew, which it pointed out was an industry problem.
Sue Piercey, who lives in Bradford, told the BBC her flight from Leeds to Belfast today was cancelled.
"We received a curt email at 7pm last night followed by an even shorter text message," she said. "No other flight options were offered."
"Our holiday is totally off now, and I hope my insurance company can help me."
A Flybe spokesperson said: "Flybe sincerely apologises to all our customers and partners affected by the current flight cancellations.
"Whilst 95 per cent of Flybe flights are operating as per normal, we do recognize the impact of today’s cancellations.
"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.
"All those affected have been emailed and advised they can re-book for travel on an alternative flight or apply for a full refund."