NEARLY 30 flights have been cancelled at Gatwick Airport this morning at short notice due to staff shortages.

The airport confirmed that 26 easyJet flights to and from the airport have been cancelled today.

Staff sickness has caused a shortage of air traffic control workers, resulting in 13 arriving flights and 13 departures being cancelled today.

Fuming passengers said they have been left stranded – Brits Stuart and Stephen said they were stuck abroad after their Majorca to Gatwick flight was cancelled at short notice.

They told the BBC that they have since been rebooked onto a returning flight on Thursday, but have lost money on alternative accomodation and coach tickets back home.

They said: "Why is this still happening? We've already seen hundreds of flights cancelled this summer, you've had meetings with the government, but still this is going on."

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Another passenger said on Twitter: "Shambles at Gatwick flying to Berlin this morning. Flight cancelled."

One woman said her flight to Malaga was cancelled, adding: "No explanation given. No other flight available today."

Twitter user Savannah said she was on her honeymoon when she was told at 2am her 6am flight was cancelled, and was forced to spend another £800 for flights.

And a mum said she wasn't told her flight was cancelled, but only found out when she checked her app.

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A Gatwick spokesperson said: "At 7am, restrictions were put on the number of flights that can arrive into Gatwick due to late notice staff absence in the airport's control tower.

"Some flights throughout the day may, unfortunately, be delayed or cancelled as a result.

"Gatwick would like to apologise for any inconvenience this will cause to our passengers."

It comes just as the airport confirmed that the current flight cap will end this month, and not be extended until September.

The flight cap saw flights restricted to 825 in July and 850 in August – instead of the usual 900 -to reduce the travel chaos affecting holidaymakers.

Gatwick said it was back to “business as usual," reporting profits around £50.6million for the first half of the year, after making a £244.6million loss last year.

The airport’s chief executive, Stewart Wingate said: "We are now very much operating business as usual and do not see any reason to extend the capacity declaration.”

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But it is bad news for British Airways passengers, with the airline cancelling 10,000 flights this winter.

This includes more than 600 until the end of October due to the current Heathrow flight cap which has reduced daily passengers from 104,000 to 100,000.

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