No Food or Drink on easyJet Flights During Gatwick Strike

easyJet aircraft parked at Gatwick Airport gates.
wuppertaler, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Unite, the UK’s leading union, warns of significant disruption for passengers at Gatwick Airport due to planned strikes by Dnata catering staff. The strikes, which begin Friday, April 26th, will see no food or drink available on any easyJet flights departing Gatwick.

The dispute centers around a unilateral removal of shift allowances by Dnata last April, resulting in pay cuts of £1,500 to £2,000 per worker.

Dnata claims the union agreed to this change, a statement Unite vehemently denies.

“Our members have had enough of Dnata’s dishonesty,” said Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham. “Removing the shift allowance was never part of the deal, and they know it.”

Proposed Strike Dates

The strike action will involve around 100 Dnata employees, including HGV drivers and warehouse staff. It will take place over three weekends:

  • Friday, April 26th – Monday, April 29th
  • Friday, May 3rd – Monday, May 6th
  • Friday, May 10th – Monday, May 13th

Unite warns that strikes will intensify if a resolution isn’t reached.

London Gatwick Caps Flight Numbers Due to ATC Shortages
Photo Credit: London Gatwick Airport.

Impact on Passengers and Airlines

As Dnata caters for all easyJet flights departing Gatwick, passengers can expect no onboard food or drink service during the strike. It caters to upwards of 200 flights daily during peak periods.

This will likely affect easyJet’s revenue, with onboard sales being a significant income source, potentially impacting their ability to offer competitive fares.

The impact likely extends beyond easyJet, as Dnata caters for other Gatwick airlines like TUI. Passengers flying with these airlines during the strike period are also advised to check with their carrier regarding potential disruptions to food and beverage services.

Unite regional officer Dominic Rothwell criticized Dnata’s actions: “Their behavior has been appalling. They clearly underestimated our members’ intelligence. This strike is entirely their doing, and they are responsible for the inconvenience caused to passengers.”

Rothwell urged Dnata to resume negotiations with Unite and offer a fair settlement for its workers, preventing further disruption for travelers and potential financial losses for airlines.

About Dnata

Dnata is a major player in the aviation services industry, particularly well-known for its work at airports. Here’s a breakdown of their key areas:

  • Ground Handling: Dnata assists airlines with various tasks on the ground, ensuring smooth operation for both the carrier and passengers. This includes activities like baggage handling, aircraft cleaning, and towing.
  • Cargo Services: They also handle cargo operations at airports, expediting the efficient movement of goods.
  • Travel Services: Dnata operates its own travel agency, dnata Travel, offering booking and other travel-related services to customers.
  • Flight Catering: Dnata owns an inflight catering business that prepares and supplies meals and beverages for airlines. This is the specific service involved in the current strike action.

Dnata is a large company with a global presence, operating in over 80 countries.

News of the impending strike action by Dnata catering staff follows the announcement of a recent win for easyJet cabin crew.

Earlier this week, Unite secured a substantial pay rise and improved working conditions for easyJet cabin. The 18 month deal delivered a permanent 20% boost to basic pay for all crew members effective May 1, 2025.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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