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EasyJet: drone chaos was wake-up call for airports

EasyJet says that the drone chaos at Gatwick was a “wake-up call” for airports. Right before the Christmas holidays, alleged drone sightings caused the airport to shut down and as a result, many flights were either canceled or diverted leaving many travelers stranded. EasyJet claims that the Gatwick fiasco has cost them £15m ($19.6M) in passenger compensation and lost revenues, and hit 82,000 customers.

Wake-up call for airports

According to the BBC News, EasyJet’s chief executive, Johan Lundgren, said he was “disappointed” that it took Gatwick Airport so long to resolve the situation and reopen the runways. He also acknowledged that it was difficult to guard against such “criminal acts.”

More than 400 EasyJet flights were canceled during the three day period in December. In total 1,000 flights and around 140,000 travelers were affected as a result of the drone sightings.

For EasyJet, this meant around £10m ($13M) “customer welfare costs” and about £5m ($6.5M) of lost revenue due to flight cancellations.

Regardless, EasyJet is off to a good start in 2019 and had seen robust demand from customers. The airline company is also ‘well prepared’ for the Brexit. Passenger numbers rose by 15% to 21.6 million for the last three months of 2018.

What do you think should be done to limit the impact that drones have on airports? Let us know in the comments below.


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Avatar for Haye Kesteloo Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Main Writer at DroneDJ, where he covers all drone related news and writes product reviews. He also contributes to the other sites in the 9to5Mac group such as; 9to5Mac, 9to5Google, 9to5Toys and Electrek. Haye can be reached at or @hayekesteloo