Easyjet has announced its intention to sue both Luton Airport and Luton Borough Council for over a million pounds for their failure to deal with the heavy snow which fell earlier this month. Easyjet lost money because flights had to be cancelled after the airport was closed due to the severe weather conditions. In addition, crew members were unable to reach the airport even after it had re-opened, meaning that more flights had to be cancelled.
Andy Harrison, chief executive of Easyjet, wrote to the council accusing it of a “failure…. to take reasonable steps to keep the road open”. The council has responded by saying that snow ploughs and gritters were used in an attempt to keep major roads open and that staff had worked around the clock to ease the situation. It is therefore “surprised and disappointed” by Easyjet’s accusations.
The airline has also accused Luton Airport of failing to implement its snow plan which caused “avoidable disruption”. A spokesperson for the airport responded by saying that four feet of snow had fallen in Luton in a short period of time rendering it necessary to close the airport for safety reasons.
On the same day that the airport was closed because of the snow, the elements caused chaos at the Easyjet AGM held at the airline’s HQ in Luton. By the time the meeting was due to start, none of the board members had managed to get there because of the snow and under company rules a new chairman had to be elected for the duration of the meeting. This was duly done and the new chairman, employee Bruce James, adjourned the meeting for an hour and a half by which time four board members had turned up and Mr James’ five minutes of fame were over.