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EasyJet canceled more than 200 flights over the weekend and the disruption is expected to last until this week, leaving some passengers stranded amid travel chaos at some of Britain’s biggest airports.

The airline blamed the problems on high levels of illness among employees caused by Covid, with at least 222 trips axed since Friday.

He said he had made efforts to make up for staffing shortages by signing up an additional reserve team at the weekend, but had been forced to make “additional cancellations for [Sunday] and [Monday]”.

A total of 62 flights scheduled for Monday have been withdrawn, most of which were announced at short notice on Saturday.

An easyJet spokesperson said: “Due to the current high rates of Covid infections across Europe, like all businesses, easyJet is experiencing higher levels of employee illness than usual.

“We have made 62 pre-emptive cancellations of flights to and from the UK for [Monday] which represents a small proportion of [Monday’s] total flight schedule which was to be over 1,645 flights. We have canceled the majority of these [on Saturday].”

It was later confirmed to the PA news agency that at least 222 flights were canceled on Saturday and Sunday.

Some holidaymakers have reported being stranded overseas with no explanation or alternative route offered by the airline.

It comes after passengers were stuck in long queues at Heathrow Airport on Sunday morning as the Easter holidays began.

The airport attributed the congestion to Covid checks required by destination countries and “high passenger volumes”.

But staff shortages and problems with e-gate passport checkpoints were also reported as travelers took to social media to vent their frustrations, with some saying they had waited hours to take off.

Other travelers said several of the automatic electronic gates, operated by Border Force and used to process passengers, were not working properly.

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The Home Office confirmed there had been a ‘technical issue’ with checkpoints which has since been resolved, and said the issue did not cause queues to exceed the ‘standard length’ waiting at Heathrow.

But a Heathrow spokesperson said: “Due to the high volume of passengers and the Covid documentation checks still required by many final destinations, departures from Terminal 2 experienced some congestion today.”

Manchester Airport has experienced similar problems in recent weeks as it struggled to cope with delays due to increased passenger numbers amid staff shortages.

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