The company has apologised, saying a Covid surge among staff and Air Traffic Control strikes in France, Italy and Spain, had caused “buffers” to fail.
Yesterday evening, a Dublin to Faro flight, along with a flight to Split in Croatia were cancelled by the airline, along with arrivals from London Heathrow and Amsterdam.
Passengers vented their frustration online with one person saying their expensive family holiday, which had been booked three years ago, had been cancelled, leaving their children “distraught.”
The passenger said: “So many feelings I want to share but thought it best I should be the professional.
“Three years waiting, two years planning, €6,000 Faro holiday, three distraught children, wife in tears, two queues go nowhere.
"Long drive home. Starting refund/vouchers and the travel agent.”
Aer Lingus issued a statement to Independent.ie detailing how Covid cases had affected staffing, along with the air traffic control strikes, which Ryanair had already stated it expected would impact flights.
“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,” the statement said.
“This weekend, system pressures from ATC strikes, and ongoing issues at airports and among third party suppliers, have regrettably necessitated the cancellation of some flights.
“This pressure on the system has been compounded by a spike in Covid cases among our own teams in the last number of days.
“Where cancellations have occurred, Aer Lingus has sought to re-accommodate disrupted passengers on the next available alternative service.
“Aer Lingus wishes to apologise to those customers that have been impacted, and has shared details regarding customers’ rights the airlines’ obligations under Regulation (EC) 261/2004 which can be found here: www.aerlingus.com/support/legal/regulation.”
One woman tweeted that there had been a “disgraceful lack of communication cancelling our flight from Paris to Dublin this evening.”
Ryanair had already said over the weekend it predicted disruptions, mostly in France, Italy and Spain, as a result of a two day strike in the French Air Traffic Control centre in Marseille.