EasyJet has scrapped thousands of its summer flights following months of last-minute cancellations.

The low-cost airline said the measure is also in response to caps introduced by Gatwick and Amsterdam Schiphol airports.

The move will be a blow to passengers planning to travel from Luton, Stansted, Gatwick, and Southend airports over the summer break - throwing holiday plans in jeopardy.

It follows the cancellation of thousands of flights this year which caused travel chaos during the Easter school holidays and the half-term period which coincided with the jubilee bank holiday weekend.

%image(14368719, type="article-full", alt="EasyJet has announced it is "proactively" cancelling flights at Gatwick in response to a cap introduced by the airport.")

EasyJet said it is "proactively consolidating a number of flights across affected airports” due to the "operational issues" being experienced across the aviation sector in Europe including air traffic control delays, staff shortages in ground handling and at airports, and increased times for identity checks of new recruits.

Chief executive Johan Lundgren said: "I can’t tell you how many flights will be impacted.

“It would be misleading for me to give any numbers today because we simply don’t know.”

The airline planned to operate around 160,000 flights between July and September, before the cancellations being made.

In May, the carrier expected its capacity to be at around 97pc of 2019 levels over that three-month period, but this has been reduced to 90pc.

EasyJet admitted there will be a “cost impact” from the disruption, and the amount of money it spends to operate each seat per kilometre excluding fuel will “exceed” previous guidance.

It said: “We believe that these capacity/cost impacts are a one-off this summer as we would expect all parties to build greater resilience in time for 2023 peak periods.”

The cancellations by EasyJet come as Heathrow asked airlines to cut 10pc of flights at two terminals today (June 20).

The move affected around 5,000 passengers at Terminals 2 and 3 on approximately 30 flights.