Aer Lingus is now using a “third party” to fly some routes as the airline continues to handle Covid cases among staff and industrial action abroad.
Countless passengers have their vacation plans thrown into disarray as the airline canceled 11 flights between Friday and Saturday.
And the Irish Independent has now learned that some Aer Lingus customers are being emailed notifications of changes to the flight, meaning it is not operated by the actual company they paid with.
It’s clear the disruption at the airline is far from over.
As well as delays and cancellations, the Irish Independent has seen an example of emails being sent to some customers.
In an email, Aer Lingus tells customers who are scheduled to fly within a few days that “Due to operational reasons, your flight is now being operated by Privilege Style on our behalf.
“Check-in for your flight remains at the Aer Lingus check-in desks.”
Privilege Style is a Spanish private airline that operates worldwide but has no ties to Aer Lingus.
The Aer Lingus email said the company is “confident that the service you receive from Privilege-style pilots and cabin crew will be of the same high standards that our customers have come to expect from us. Privilege Style meets all Aer Lingus safety standards”.
The Irish Independent asked Aer Lingus how many customers had been contacted and how many flights were operated by a third party and what the reason for using a third party was.
,The airline’s press department responded with a statement but did not answer some of our questions.
A spokesman for Aer Lingus said the airline “expected demand for travel to return once Covid restrictions were lifted and built appropriate buffers into our plans to cope with a reasonable level of additional disruption”.
They added: “Occasionally we will rent additional capacity through third parties to avoid disruption to our customers.”
The airline has not provided any details as to why the third-party provider is being used, how many customers have been contacted and which flights are affected.
The company has been hit hard by several Covid cases over the past few weeks, which has led to flight delays.
And glitches are still causing problems this weekend. Among the flights canceled today were flight EI107 from Dublin to New York at 4:40 p.m. by Aer Lingus and flight EI507 from Bordeaux to Dublin at 6:20 p.m.
Aer Lingus issued a public apology after canceling a total of 11 flights on Friday and Saturday due to industrial disputes in France and a surge in Covid cases.
Today the airline canceled a return Dublin-Bilbao flight and a Dublin-New York flight due to staff illness.
A return flight to Dublin was also canceled due to industrial action at Bordeaux Airport.
On Saturday, illness again led to the cancellation of return flights from Dublin to London Gatwick and from Knock to Gatwick.
While a mandate at Amsterdam’s Schipol airport to limit the number of passengers during the summer has led to the cancellation of Dublin’s return flight to the Dutch capital.
Aer Lingus told RTÉ: “Due to a surge in Covid cases, Aer Lingus has been forced to cancel one return and one outbound flight today (Friday) and two return flights (Saturday).
“Aer Lingus would like to apologize to those affected and the airline’s teams are working to re-book affected passengers on the next available flights as efficiently as possible.
“Passengers affected will be contacted directly by Aer Lingus…
“System pressures and ongoing issues at some airports and third-party providers have resulted in significant operational challenges, compounded by a significant spike in Covid cases in recent days. We have details on customers’ rights and airlines’ obligations under Regulation (EC) 261/2004.”
https://www.independent.ie/news/aer-lingus-now-using-third-party-airline-to-run-routes-amid-more-cancellations-41825885.html Aer Lingus now uses a ‘third party’ airline to operate routes with more cancellations