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Man jailed after assaulting airline staff at Gatwick Airport

A man who assaulted airline staff on board his honeymoon flight to Egypt has been jailed.

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Michael Cunnett was also ordered to pay compensation to the two easyJet employees following the incident at Gatwick Airport on 7 February.

After being asked not to use his e-cigarette, Cunnett became aggressive and punched one of the crew in the face. When another member of crew attempted to intervene, he too was punched in the face.

The 38-year-old plasterer, of Tonstall Road, Epsom, Surrey, was escorted from the flight – which had yet to depart – and his aggressive demeanour continued outside, where he was arrested.

Whilst on route to custody, he repeatedly kicked the van, causing damage. He was further arrested for this.

At Lewes Crown Court on Tuesday (2 April), he was jailed for seven months for interfering with aircrew and ordered to pay £500 compensation to each of the two men he assaulted. He faced no separate penalty for criminal damage.

Sergeant Ian Hatcher, of the Gatwick Prevention Team, said:

“This sentence reflects the seriousness of the offences committed, and we’d like to make it clear that disruptive or abusive behaviour at Gatwick Airport will not be tolerated.

“Police officers and airline staff have a right to go about their daily duties without being subjected to abuse. Cunnett’s actions were completely unacceptable, and he was arrested and charged with a number of offences accordingly.

“One of our force priorities is to keep people safe and feeling safe, and anyone who compromises this will be dealt with robustly.”

Gatwick

The first easyJet holidays’ summer customers take off from Gatwick as business continues to return to airport

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It’s another welcome sign that the airport is starting to pick up since lockdown began to ease.

easyJet holidays has started taking its first ever summer customers on holiday since the launch of the business in November last year and since travel restrictions and quarantine advice changed.

Customers will be jetting off from London Gatwick airport to enjoy holidays to the likes of Crete, Rhodes, Malta and Turkey. When customers arrive on holiday there will be local gifts to enjoy courtesy of easyJet holidays and their destination partners to celebrate the first arrivals.

To help support and prepare customers for what to expect on holiday in these times, easyJet holidays has created a customer video and provided detailed information pages on its website – a Covid-19 response and a safety and wellbeing centre.

Matt Callaghan, Customer Director at easyJet holidays said:

“This is a really big moment for us and it is hugely exciting to be taking our first customers away this summer. We know how important holidays are to us all and we also recognise that for many a holiday this year feels even more significant. We’ve made a series of commitments and put in a number of steps to help ensure customers can have a safe and enjoyable holiday. We’d also like to say a huge thank you to all of our partners for the part they have played in getting ready for today.”

Stephen King, Head of Airline Relations at Gatwick Airport, said:

“The launch of easyJet holidays from Gatwick Airport is a really significant step off the back of an incredibly challenging few months, not just for the aviation industry but for individuals and families across the country. For people to have the opportunity to get away to easyJet holidays’ fantastic range of destinations from Gatwick this summer is great news and something certain to give many families a huge boost.

“As an airport, we have implemented numerous new measures to ensure the safety of both passengers and staff travelling through Gatwick, which will help keep passenger safe and help to rebuild confidence in flying, whether to see family and friends, to enjoy a much-needed holiday or to travel for business.”

Today also marks the day that the new comic book inspired face masks for children will start to be available on easyJet flights. The masks, designed by Irish artist Will Sliney, best known for his work on Marvel comics Spider-Man and Star Wars, are just one element of the new measures the airline has introduced on flights to help ensure the safety and wellbeing of all customers and crew onboard.

easyJet holidays has great value deals on a range of holidays bookable all the way through to October next year. All holidays include 23kg of luggage per person, with transfers included on beach holidays.

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