The executive responsible for easyJet’s operations has left the airline following thousands of flight cancellations and disruption.

The low-cost carrier said on Monday that Peter Bellew had resigned as chief operating officer, but would stay with the company temporarily to “ensure a smooth transition”.

EasyJet has been forced to cancel thousands of flights this summer in response to staff shortages that have hit the aviation industry. The airline has axed flights from its peak schedule after suffering a wave of last-minute cancellations, largely from London Gatwick, that have left passengers angry and frustrated.

Bellew is a well-known figure in aviation. He joined from Ryanair in 2019, prompting an unsuccessful court challenge from the Irish airline to prevent him working for a rival.

“I would like to thank Peter for his hard work and wish him well. Everyone at easyJet remains absolutely focused on delivering a safe and reliable operation this summer,” said chief executive Johan Lundgren.

David Morgan will take over as interim chief operating officer.

In April, the British pilot’s union told the Financial Times that Bellew was behind a breakdown in relations between pilots and easyJet’s management, particularly in its handling of staff absences.

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