The airline was forced to cancel just over 1pc of its June schedule
July has landed, and with it more flight cancellations from Aer Lingus.
The airline has cancelled nine return flights and one direct flight today, as well as three return flights tomorrow, due to several factors including “a significant spike in Covid cases”.
Today’s affected services include several return flights to/from Dublin Airport, including: EI342 to Zurich at 7.10am, EI506 to Bordeaux at 1.30pm, EI608 to Amsterdam at 2pm, EI238 to London LGW at 3.10pm, EI638 to Brussels at 6.45pm and EI276 to Birmingham at 7.20pm, EI248 to London LGW at 7.30pm.
Ground handling industrial action at Bordeaux Airport has required the cancellation of today’s Bordeaux service, and industrial action is also forcing the cancellation of two return flights to Lyon tomorrow, Saturday, July 2.
Aer Lingus has now cancelled more than 60 flights over the past week, though it says in total just over 1pc of its flights were impacted by cancellations in June.
“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,” it said.
"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.”
The airline has apologised to affected passengers, and says teams are working to re-accommodate them – although many have taken to social media to complain about its customer service.
Under EU Regulation 261/2014, if a flight is cancelled for any reason, the airline must offer passengers the choice between:
1) Re-routing as soon as possible, subject to availability, free of charge.
2) Re-routing at a later date.
3) A full refund within seven days.
It comes as travel in parts of Europe and the US has been rebounding at a level that has left airports, airlines and third-party companies such as baggage handlers struggling to keep up.
In addition to Covid, the airline industry last weekend was impacted by a cabin crew and air traffic controller (ATC) strike in Spain, Portugal and Belgium.
However, there was an air of calm at Dublin Airport this morning as holiday makers prepared to jet off to the sun.
Dublin Airport Authority ( DAA) had provisions in place for long queues, extending to a tented area outside departures and even into a sectioned-off area of the car park if the worst came to the worst.
It expects 56,000 departures from the airport today.
At 7am bag drop was taking an average of 45 minutes in Terminal 1 and there were no queues for security, with a waiting time of between 15 and 20 minutes being displayed on an information board.
One young couple delighted to be flying this morning told of the difficulties they had faced last Monday morning when they were originally due to take off.
“We came up from Cork with our families, we are going to Canada on work visas, and our itinerary was changed just before we left home. We were originally supposed to be flying Dublin to Toronto to Vancouver, and that was changed to Dublin, Glasgow, Reykjavik ,Vancouver. We got here at 5.30am for a 10.10am flight but we weren’t let fly because the layover was too short and there was no service agreement with Iceland Air regarding baggage, so we had to go home and re-book the whole thing and now we’re back this morning,” they said.
“The original flights cost us €350 each, and the re-booked flights cost us €1,360, so it’s been a bad start. But we’ve dropped our bags off and now we’re told our flight is being delayed, but at least it’s a direct flight this time so we’re hopeful,” they added.
The cafés and shops of the airport were operating well and there did not appear to be queues, and airport staff were busy guiding passengers to bag drop and security areas, keeping everything moving.
Ryanair passengers seemed to be having the easiest time at Dublin Airport.
Mary Barry and her daughter Clodagh (12), from Hollystown in Dublin 15, were flying to Girona in Spain, and just had hand luggage so they had no bags to drop off when they arrived at 10.30am.
“We’re very pleased with how things are running. We were anxious that there might be queues but I see the sign for security screening in T1 saying it will take ten minutes, and our flight isn’t until 1.30pm, so we’ll have loads of time,” said Mary.
PJ and Idelle Owens were travelling to La Rochelle in France for a holiday with their children Olive (6), Brodie (12), Ivy (9) and Eden (7).
“It took just ten minutes to drop our bags and now we’re heading for security, and we can see there’s no queue, so it’s much better than we expected it to be,” said PJ from Cabra in Dublin.
Another family on the La Rochelle flight were Brendan Quigley and his wife Keva Clinton, who were heading away with their children Meabh (6) and Bronagh (1).
They had driven down from Belfast to get their flight.
“The bag drop took about five minutes. There’s no queue for security, so everything is good,” said Brendan.
“My mother flew to New York yesterday and said there wasn’t a bother then either,” said Keva.
One couple who did have to queue to drop their bags for a flight to Toronto said it took two hours.
“On balance it was not as bad as we feared but our flight is delayed so we’re not in a hurry anyway. We did get here three hours before we were due to fly so we had time, but we couldn’t see why the queue to drop bags moved so slowly,” they said.
“We think they were processing the Vancouver flight too, which delayed things,” they added.