An airline has scrapped nearly two thousand flights this summer as it tries to reduce its number of last-minute flight cancellations.

EasyJet has cancelled 1,700 flights from Gatwick between now and September, affecting 180,000 passengers.

But the airline said 95 per cent of those hit by the cancellations have already been given seats on alternative flights, with the remaining 9,000 expected to be reallocated by the end of today.

EasyJet said limited airspace due to the war in Ukraine and strikes by air traffic controller (ATC) staff meant it was forced to cancel the flights.

Anyone who is not satisfied with their rescheduled flight can arrange a refund.

The mass cancellations are said to be “pre-emptive measure” to avoid ruining holidays at the last minute.

A spokesman for easyJet said: “We are currently operating up to around 1,800 flights and carrying around 250,000 customers per day with more crew and pilots flying than ever before and, like all airlines, we review our flights on an ongoing basis.

“As Eurocontrol has stated, the whole industry is seeing challenging conditions this summer with more constrained air space due to the war in Ukraine resulting in unprecedented ATC delays, as well as further potential ATC strike action.

READ MORE: easyJet cancels flights from Gatwick due to thunderstorms

“We have therefore made some pre-emptive adjustments to our programme consolidating a small number of flights at Gatwick, where we have multiple daily frequencies, in order to help mitigate these external challenges on the day of travel for our customers and we continue to operate around over 90,000 flights over this period.

“Customers whose flights are affected are being informed, with 95 per cent customers being rebooked onto an alternative flight and all customers provided with the option to rebook or receive a refund.

“We are sorry for any inconvenience that this may have caused.”

In June, easyJet cancelled 99 flights in just two days – though this time it was due to severe weather conditions.

More than 15,000 ticketholders were affected by the issue on June 12 and 13.