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airport chaos

More Aer Lingus flights cancelled for tomorrow as illness and strikes cause travel chaos

Meanwhile, at Heathrow, thousands of passengers were affected by a ‘schedule intervention’ today, including some bound for Ireland.

LAST UPDATE | 30 Jun 2022

MORE AER LINGUS flights bound for European destinations have been called off tomorrow amid a slew of cancellations.

Tomorrow’s cancellations affect several flights that were due to carry passengers to cities in Switzerland, France, Belgium, the UK and the Netherlands.

Multiple Aer Lingus flights departing and arriving into Dublin Airport were cancelled today and yesterday, including flights into and out of Heathrow Airport.

Flights to London, Paris, Berlin and Hamburg were cancelled today by the airline, which yesterday cited Covid-19 as a reason for flight cancellations alongside striking air traffic controllers in France.

The 7.30am, 3.35pm and 8.15pm flights to Heathrow were cancelled, with passengers at the London airport hitting out at the “total chaos” as the airport ordered 30 flights to be cancelled.

However, only the 7.30am EI154 to London Heathrow was cancelled due to the Heathrow mandate, with the remaining cancellations being caused by illness.

The list of cancellations included:

  • EI526 to Paris
  • EI392 to Hamburg
  • EI154 to London Heathrow
  • EI174 to London Heathrow
  • EI336 to Berlin
  • EI184 to London Heathrow
  • EI 238 to London Gatwick

Tomorrow’s cancellations are also due to a combination of factors like illness and strike action in France.

They are:

  • EI342 to Zurich
  • EI506 to Bordeaux
  • EI608 to Amsterdam
  • EI238 to London Gatwick
  • EI638 to Brussels
  • EI276 to Birmingham
  • EI248 to London Gatwick

Yesterday, 12 Aer Lingus flights into and out of Dublin Airport were cancelled.

In a statement, Aer Lingus apologised to customers who were impacted by the cancelled flights.

“Aer Lingus wishes to apologise to those impacted and teams at the airline are working to re-accommodate impacted passengers on the next available services as efficiently as possible,” said a spokesperson for Aer Lingus.

“Aer Lingus anticipated the return of demand for travel once Covid restrictions were removed and built appropriate buffers into our plans in order to deal with a reasonable level of additional disruption.

“System pressures and ongoing issues at some airports and among third party suppliers have created considerable operational challenges which have been compounded by a significant spike in Covid cases in recent days.”

Speaking on Morning Ireland, Transport Minister Eamon Ryan said that Covid-19 has caused significant disruption to aviation, particularly around staffing levels.

“Our concern here is obviously first and foremost with the travelling public and their inconvenience,” said Ryan

Cabinet Tuesday 002 Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan Leah Farrell Leah Farrell

“It’s a very difficult time in aviation, Covid has disrupted everything. both in terms of getting staff back, but also now staff being out with Covid.

“We will have to work our way through a very difficult period but I’m convinced particularly with the help of the Defence Forces now in the airport, we can and will do that.”

Earlier this week, it was announced that Defence Forces personnel would be put on standby to assist security at Dublin Airport in non-public facing roles.

Under the plan, soldiers will be placed around key areas of the perimeter of the airport rather than working directly with staff to screen passengers at security.

Heathrow reaction

It comes as thousands of travellers in London were disrupted by a rare “schedule intervention” at Heathrow Airport which led to the scrapping of 30 flights during the morning peak.

Some passengers did not find out their flights were cancelled until they arrived at what is the UK’s busiest airport.

Travel writer and broadcaster Andy Mossack wrote on Twitter: “Total chaos at Heathrow this morning. British Airways flights cancelled and zero customer service!”

Another affected passenger, Andrew Douglas, described how he was due to be on a flight to go on holiday but had “spent the last four hours in multiple queues at Heathrow Airport because it’s been cancelled”.

He added: “Absolute shambles, complete chaos and only found out at check-in with no prior notification. Horrific service.”

A Heathrow spokesman said the airport “asked airlines to remove 30 flights from the morning peak” as it was expecting more passengers “than the airport currently has capacity to serve”.

He went on: “We will work with airlines to get affected passengers rebooked onto other flights outside of the peak so that as many as possible can get away, and we apologise for the impact this has on travel plans.

“We are working hard to ensure everyone has a smooth journey through Heathrow this summer, and the most important thing is to make sure that all service providers at the airport have enough resources to meet demand.”

British Airways said in a statement: “As a result of Heathrow’s requirement for all airlines to reduce their schedules, we’ve made a small number of cancellations.

“We’re in contact with affected customers to apologise, advise them of their consumer rights and offer them alternative options, including a refund or rebooking.”

Passengers using Heathrow in recent weeks have experienced long queues, and many have been separated from their luggage for several days.

There are fears that the severe disruption seen at UK airports in the run-up to Easter and the Jubilee bank holiday will return during the peak summer holiday period.

Additional reporting by Press Association 

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