Irish carrier Aer Lingus has canceled over a dozen flights to and from Dublin Airport after a rise in COVID cases among its staff. We take a closer look below.
Aer Lingus cancels 18 flights over two days
After a sharp rise in COVID cases, Aer Lingus has canceled 18 flights to and from Dublin Airport on Wednesday and Thursday.
Affected services include return flights from Dublin to Edinburgh, Frankfurt, Lyon, Geneva, Munich and Amsterdam on Wednesday and a Dublin-Heathrow roundtrip on Thursday.
An Aer Lingus spokesperson said,
“Due to a spike in COVID cases, Aer Lingus has been forced to cancel six return flights from Dublin today. Additionally, due to a mandate from London Heathrow Airport Authority, one return flight to Dublin Heathrow tomorrow, 30th June has also been canceled.”
Other cancelations include a morning trip to Hamburg and an afternoon flight to Berlin on Thursday.
Aer Lingus has blamed rising COVID cases and other operational difficulties. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying
Over the past week, Ireland has recorded 13,584 COVID cases through PCR testing and a further 17,640 positive antigen tests. The country has also reached its highest number of COVID-related hospitalizations since mid-April.
The spokesperson added,
“Our teams are working to secure alternative travel options for customers in each case and wish to apologize to those impacted for the inconvenience. Should crew illness require the cancellation of additional flights in the coming days, we will seek to re-accommodate passengers on the next available services as efficiently as possible.”
The latest cancelations
Aer Lingus had to scrap several other flights over the past week as it battled rising COVID cases and air traffic control strikes in France, Italy and Spain.
The airline canceled three flights on Monday and 13 on Sunday, citing “considerable operational challenges.”
Aer Lingus 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.”
In its defense, the Irish carrier claims that just over 1% of its flights over the past month have been affected by cancelations.
New UK routes coming next week
Aer Lingus has announced two new routes out of Belfast City Airport (BHD) – Southampton and Cardiff. The new services will be operated by Aer Lingus Regional carrier Emerald Airlines, which successfully launched its first commercial flight on February 26th.
Aer Lingus Regional has expanded its UK network. Photo: Emerald Airlines
Flights will launch on July 7th and add to Aer Lingus’ UK network. The airline serves Birmingham, Edinburgh, Leeds Bradford, Glasgow, Exeter and Manchester out of its hub at BHD.
Ellie McGimpsey, aviation development manager at Belfast City Airport, said,
“With the addition of Cardiff and Southampton, Aer Lingus Regional will now operate routes to eight of the 21 destinations Belfast City Airport will fly to this summer.”
Emerald Airlines added that it will “continue to add more routes and increase frequencies over the coming months.”
Have your flights with Aer Lingus been affected by cancelations? Let us know in the comments.