Holidaymakers are facing another week of travel uncertainty as Aer Lingus cancelled yet more flights due to a continued outbreak of Covid-19 among staff, while European strikes loom for the month ahead for Ryanair passengers.
Today, four Aer Lingus flights from Dublin Airport have been cancelled and five arrivals have been pulled.
Meanwhile, Ryanair has stated confidently that it expects “minimal disruption, if any” to its flights throughout July, despite cabin crew in Spain vowing to take 12 days of industrial action.
An Aer Lingus spokesperson said yesterday: “Due to a spike in Covid cases, Aer Lingus (was) forced to cancel four return flights (on Sunday).
“Just over 1pc of Aer Lingus flights have been impacted by cancellations in June.
“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.”
The airline also repeated a statement it has been putting out since the company was impacted by Covid in recent days.
It stated it had “anticipated the return of demand for travel…”. However, it added: “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.”
Ryanair, meanwhile, confirmed yesterday that it expected “minimal, if any, disruption to its flights operating to and from Spain, as a result of cabin crew strikes called by the USO and SITCPLA unions from July 12 to July 28”.
A Ryanair spokesperson added: “Less than 1pc of Ryanair’s flights have been affected in the past month by recent minor and poorly-supported cabin crew strikes called by unions who are either not recognised by or who represent tiny numbers of Ryanair crews.
“Air traffic control (ATC) and airport staff shortages across Europe, which are beyond Ryanair’s control may, however, cause some minor disruption and any passengers whose flights are disrupted by ATC staff shortages will be notified of their entitlements by email/SMS.”
Aer Lingus also reminded its passengers of their consumer rights should flights be cancelled, inviting those affected to visit the airline’s website.
Today the cancelled Dublin Airport Aer Lingus departure flights are the 6.40am Dublin to Berlin (EI332), the 7.10am Dublin to Zurich (EI342), the 12.50pm from Dublin to Manchester (EI208) and the Dublin to Rome (EI406) at 3.35pm.
The cancelled Aer Lingus arrivals are the 2.05am Split to Dublin (EI1471), the 12.05pm Berlin to Dublin (EI333), the 12.35pm Zurich to Dublin (EI343), the 3.25pm Manchester to Dublin (EI2019) and the 10.40pm from Rome to Dublin (EI407).
Yesterday, Aer Lingus stated four return flights had been cancelled due to illness. These were Dublin - Lisbon - Dublin (EI482/EI483), Dublin - Malpensa - Dublin (EI436/EI437), Dubin - Amsterdam - Dublin (EI610/EI611) and London Heathrow - Shannon - London Heathrow (EI387 / EI388).
Ryanair cabin crew based at 10 Spanish airports will strike from July 12 to 15, from July 18 to 21 and again from July 25 to 28.
Unions representing the cabin crews have called for a resumption of negotiations with Ryanair on the minimum wage for their crews.
Airline workers across Europe have been staging walkouts as travel resumes following the easing of pandemic travel restrictions.
Staff shortages have been blamed for delays and queues across the sector.
Spanish-based cabin crew at Easyjet are also striking for nine days this month, in a bid for higher pay.
Workers at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris went on strike on Friday and Saturday, forcing the cancellation of around 10pc of flights.
While in Portugal, another top holiday destination for Irish tourists, 65 flights to and from Lisbon were cancelled on Saturday due to constraints at European airports, with the airport management company ANA blaming “a set of constraints at various European airports”.
At present, the Portuguese situation has predominantly affected the services of airline TAP Air Portugal.