EasyJet is urging customers to return to the UK as soon as possible as it plans to axe services after 10 January.
It said customers who need to return to the UK should transfer onto one of its repatriation flights this week.
After 10 January, it will only operate a few flights, focusing on ‘maintaining essential connectivity between key cities in the UK, including domestic services from London, Bristol, Birmingham, Liverpool, Newcastle, Belfast and Scotland’, it said.
It will continue to operate only ‘a small number of international routes’.
The move follows Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement yesterday that England will go into a third lockdown at midnight. The restrictions, which are likely to last at least six weeks, include a ban on international leisure travel, although the Government said people already abroad can remain until the end of their holidays.
In a statement, easyJet said: “We will be operating flights up to and including the 10th January focused on repatriating any customers who need to return to the UK. We urge customers needing to return to transfer onto these flights as soon as possible as options to travel after this date will be reduced.
“We are contacting customers whose flights are cancelled with their options and all customers unable to travel as a result of the lockdown restrictions, whether their flights are cancelled or scheduled to operate, can transfer their flights to a later date for free, or receive a voucher or a refund.”
My flight has been cancelled, what are my rights?
If your flight home has been cancelled, the airline must arrange an alternative flight for you, even if it has to buy you a seat on a rival airline. So if you’re offered a refund instead, you should refuse and insist that it brings you home so you don’t end up stranded.
If you have yet to travel, you’re entitled to a refund or, if you prefer, you should be able to move your flight to a later date.
Are other airlines cancelling flights?
British Airways said it is reviewing its schedule while Ryanair, which cancelled a large number of flights before Christmas when countries banned or introduced restrictions for British citizens, said it will continue to operate only a few flights from the UK.
Wizz Air has been reluctant to cancel flights and refund passengers during previous lockdowns so it might continue to operate services despite a drop in demand.
Can I get a refund?
If the airline cancels your flight, you are entitled to a full refund within seven days, however some airlines are taking longer to refund due to the sheer number of cancellations.
If the flight goes ahead but you can’t travel, some airlines are refusing to refund but they might offer a free flight change (subject to paying any fare difference) or a voucher for the full amount.
If the airline cancels, will I get compensation?
Normally passengers are entitled to compensation if an EU airline or an airline flying from an EU airport (including the UK) cancels a flight within two weeks of departure.
However, airlines aren’t obliged to compensate passengers for cancellations that are caused by exceptional circumstances, including Government restrictions.
In this instance, you would be entitled to a full refund, but not compensation.