The Jet2 boss has hit out with a controversial comment about the airport delays (Picture: LNP / LT1 Media)

Staff shortages causing havoc at airports across the country have been blamed on Brexit.

Jet2 boss Steve Heapy is said to have made the comments during talks with Grant Shapps this week after the transport secretary rejected calls for airlines like BA and easyJet to have more powers to hire visa-free workers from Europe.

Mr Heapy was rumoured to have blamed the chaos on ‘lazy Brits’, according to The Sun.

But Jet2 says Mr Heapy ‘expressed frustrations with the current employment market’, with Brexit taking ‘hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people out of the job market’.

The industry wants post-Brexit rules relaxed so they can hire foreign staff, rather than relying on British applicants who they say miss interviews.

But Mr Shapps blames the aviation industry for the problems.

Pressure in the jobs market ‘does not excuse poor planning and overbooking flights they cannot service’, he added.

Hundreds of flights have been delayed and cancelled in recent weeks, as holidaymakers are plagued by worry and confusion at many of the country’s airports.

On Wednesday, easyJet axed 36 flights to many destinations in Europe while Manchester Airport which has been plagued with problems has removed 16,000 British Airways flights up to autumn 2022.

Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2, expressed his frustrations with the current employment market

Some Brits have been accused of pretending to be disabled to get through airports (Picture: LNP / LT1 Media)

Airport chaos has been occurring for a number of weeks (Picture: PA)

Queues at airports continue to grow (Picture: Ioannis Alexopoulos / LNP)

Some Brits have also been accused of pretending to be disabled to get through mammoth airport queues faster, according to reports.

One insider at a meeting of industry leaders on Wednesday with Mr Shapps, said: ‘If people are pretending it’s potentially stopping genuinely disabled people from getting a place, and that’s pretty grim.’

The source added: ‘You can’t just say to people ‘no, you’re lying’.’

Another industry boss said: ‘There should be a special place reserved in hell for people who pretend to be disabled.’

This comment comes after a number of passengers were accused of pretending to be disabled to avoid the horrific queues plaguing Britain’s travel hubs. 

In a statement to Metro.co.uk, a Jet2 and Jet2holidays spokesperson said: ‘During a meeting with government and industry on Friday, Mr Heapy expressed his frustrations with the current employment market – as Brexit has taken hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people out of the job market and that is having an impact on many industries, including ours.

‘To clarify, the other reports being circulated are categorically not the views of Mr Heapy or our proudly UK-based company.’

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