Holiday firm Tui cancels a quarter of its flights from Manchester Airport

Video report by ITV Granada Reports journalist Andrew Fletcher.

Holiday firm Tui has cancelled six flights a day from Manchester - a quarter of its operations out of the airport - in a further blow to North West holidaymakers.

The shock announcement, which affects nearly 200 flights, came into force on 31 May and will last until Thursday 30 June.

It's being blamed on on staff shortages and will affect thousands of people and destinations including the Canary Islands.

A Tui spokesperson said: "We would like to apologise to our customers who have experienced flight delays and cancellations in recent days and understand that many of our customers have been looking forward to their holiday with us for a long time. 

"We understand how disappointing this will be for those impacted; however, we believe this is necessary to provide stability and a better customer service at Manchester Airport. 

"We will continue to work closely with all our airport partners and suppliers so we can provide the best possible holiday experience for our customers."

Queues at Manchester Airport

The firm said customers affected by the flight cancellations will receive a full refund for their holiday, as well as an "extra gesture of goodwill".

Customers impacted in the next 14 days will also receive information on how to apply for compensation.

It follows weeks of disruption at Manchester Airport, which has battled to overcome its own staffing difficulties and manage queues in the first big holiday getaway since the Covid 19 pandemic.

Earlier a Twitter user posted an image of a queue at Manchester Airport which stretched along a car park, describing the situation as "madness".

Another passenger at the airport said arriving travellers were waiting for more than three hours to get their luggage.

She wrote: "People have just abandoned them. We were told to come back during the week for ours."

The airport has suggested it is getting to grips with the long delays at security and says the queues now are in check in and baggage reclaim - which is the responsibility of the airline and its handling agent, not airport staff.

Crucially passengers are still being advised to arrive three hours before their flight is due to depart.

A spokesman said: "Over the last few days TUI and its appointed ground handler, Swissport, have experienced significant challenges with their check-in and baggage reclaim operations at Manchester Airport.

“From extensive discussions with the TUI and Swissport management teams, it is clear that they are experiencing temporary staff shortages, in common with other aviation and travel companies.

“Given these challenges, we understand TUI’s difficult decision to cancel a number of services over the course of the next month, although we are obviously disappointed to see passengers’ plans disrupted in this way. "