Airlines cancel over 60 Dublin flights – The Irish Times
Thousands of travelers to and from the Republic were affected last week as airlines canceled around 60 flights to Dublin in the face of bottlenecks, strikes and Covid.
The last to suffer are passengers on Aer Lingus’ Dublin-Heathrow flight at 7.30am on Thursday, and the return flight at 9.50am. The airline confirmed on Wednesday evening that these would be canceled following a request from London Airport, which is one of several European hubs affected by the labor shortage.
A Covid outbreak among staff also forced the Irish airline to cancel services to Berlin and Hamburg on Thursday.
These cancellations bring to more than 60 the number of flights to Dublin canceled by European and North American airlines since June 22, affecting thousands of passengers.
The airlines involved include industry giants such as American Airlines, British Airways, KLM, Lufthansa and its low-cost subsidiary Eurowings, as well as United Airlines.
Estimates of the number of affected customers vary as no airline contacted indicated the number of passengers expected on the flights in question. Sources suggest between 9,000 and 12,000.
Other carriers included Canada’s West Jet, Transavia France and British carrier Eastern Airways.
Aer Lingus accounted for around 30 cancellations, mainly due to a Covid outbreak among staff.
This caused it to drop six return services from Dublin – 12 flights in all – on Wednesday. Destinations included Edinburgh, Frankfurt, Lyon, Geneva and Munich.
Aer Lingus said it canceled around 1% of June flights due to the issue. The carrier stressed that it was doing everything possible to accommodate passengers whose flights had been cancelled.
German group Lufthansa also canceled its Frankfurt service on Wednesday, while Canadian airline WestJet canceled its Dublin-Toronto Pearson route.
Last Friday, its Irish rival Ryanair canceled two flights to Milan and Brussels. The airline confirmed over the weekend that it had lost some services due to a strike by French air traffic controllers, an issue the group regularly highlights as a problem for European aviation.
Eurowings also blamed the strike for the loss of flights from Cologne and Dusseldorf to Dublin. In addition, the German carrier highlighted problems with Düsseldorf airport’s baggage system, ground handling and security checks delaying the recruitment of aviation personnel.
A technical problem forced British Airways to cancel a service to London City last Thursday, when it had to abandon a Heathrow flight two days later.
US carrier United Airlines cut flights to Newark, New Jersey last Thursday and Monday June. He blamed a technical problem with the plane for Thursday’s decision and an “unexpected operational problem” for his problems on Monday.
The airline said it had accommodated the affected passengers on alternative flights operated by itself or other carriers. Where necessary, it provided hotel rooms and meal vouchers.
All of the airlines that responded to requests for comment blamed internal problems, problems at their home country airports, strikes or Covid for the cancellations.
Dublin Airport said it was doing everything possible to avoid flight cancellations. This week the government approved the use of Defense Force personnel for vehicle security checks in Dublin when needed.
Meanwhile, the Central Bureau of Statistics said 1.59 million passengers arrived in the Republic on “overseas routes” in May. State statisticians added that was 19 times more than the 85,400 people who traveled here in the same month last year when the government continued to ban most travel.
However, that was 12% less than the 1.82 million passengers who arrived in the Republic in May 2019, the year before the outbreak of the pandemic and the period the travel industry considers a true benchmark.
Figures show 1.58 million people left the state for overseas destinations last month, a multiple of the 97,000 who left the Republic in May 2020. That figure is about 15% lower than the total 2019 departures of 1.85 million. Air travel accounts for the vast majority of people traveling to or from the state.