Aer Lingus axes flights as strikes and passenger caps hit

British Airways not planning to cancel Heathrow-Irish flights

07/09/2015 Aer  Lingus
 Aer Lingus aircraft at Dublin Airport
.Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES 
Stock Photographs Up to date Aer Lingus Logo


Aer Lingus is cancelling further flights in the face of strikes and a Heathrow passenger limit imposed from this week.

The Irish carrier confirmed that French airport strikes had forced it to cancel two return flights to Bordeaux and Lyon in France on Friday, July 15th, and one on Saturday, July 16th.

Aer Lingus also dropped two one-way flights from London Heathrow on Thursday after the airport announced that it would cap passenger numbers there at 100,000 a day for the next two months.

“We are awaiting further direction from the airport to understand the impact on the Aer Lingus schedule beyond that date,” said the airline.


“Due to the large number of flights into London Heathrow, Aer Lingus will look to minimise disruption caused to customers by these mandated flight cancellations.”

The airline apologised to customers hit by the cancellations, which it noted the airports mandated. Laws oblige airlines to reaccommodate or refund passengers when their flights are cancelled.

Heathrow chief John Holland-Kaye this week said the London hub would limit passenger numbers there to 100,000 a day from this week to September 11th as it was struggling with labour shortages and surging travel demand.

The airport, used by many Irish-based people flying to Britain or transferring to destinations not available from here, says delays, baggage losses and other problems mount once passengers top 100,000 a day.

However, British Airways (BA) confirmed that it did not intend cancelling Heathrow-Irish flights as a consequence of the move.

Instead BA is taking some domestic and Amsterdam flights out of its schedule in coming weeks to comply with Heathrow’s request.

The services are mostly on journeys where BA can reaccommodate passengers on trains or from Gatwick or London City airports.

BA said it would contact passengers to “apologise, advise them of their customer rights and offer options including rebooking or refund”.

Aer Lingus pointed out that it expected demand for travel to return as governments eased Covid curbs, and built buffers into its plans to deal with reasonable levels of extra disruption.

A Covid outbreak among its crews and combined with pressures on airports and contractors” have created considerable additional operational challenges”, Aer Lingus says.

The company has advised passengers of its obligations and their rights.

Surging post-pandemic demand combined with labour shortages across airports and ground handling companies have marred air travel’s recovery this year. The problems are expected to persist in coming weeks as holiday travel peaks.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas