Two one-way flights from London Heathrow to Dublin and Shannon were canceled today by Aer Lingus due to a capacity reduction at Heathrow.
According to RTE, the airline is awaiting further instructions from Heathrow to understand the impact on its flight schedule in the coming weeks.
A statement said it would try to minimize disruption to customers.
Heathrow Airport has imposed a capacity cap of 100,000 departing passengers per day until September 11 due to a lack of resources.
Separately, industrial action at Bordeaux and Lyon airports has also resulted in the cancellation of two return flights tomorrow and one return flight on Saturday.
Aer Lingus has apologized to affected customers and said its teams are working to reaccommodate those affected as soon as possible.
The airline said plans are in place to cope with the increased demand for travel following the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, but a significant rise in cases in recent weeks has created “significant additional operational challenges”.
With up to 23 flights to and from Heathrow per day, Aer Lingus is one of the airport’s largest users.
Heathrow also acts as a major gateway for travelers arriving in and departing from Ireland to other destinations, including many long-haul flights.
In a statement, the airport’s chief executive said the number of daily departing passengers is expected to reach 104,000 this summer, causing long queues and delays. As a result, they capped the maximum number of departing passengers at 100,000.
“We are urging our airline partners to halt the sale of summer tickets to limit the impact on passengers,” Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said.
A spokesman for Aer Lingus told the Irish Examiner they are awaiting further guidance to understand the impact on the schedule.
“Due to the large number of flights to London Heathrow, Aer Lingus will try to minimize the disruption to customers caused by these mandatory flight cancellations. Affected customers will be notified directly by Aer Lingus in the coming days.”
Heathrow’s move drew sharp criticism from former Aer Lingus and British Airways chief Willie Walsh, who now chairs the body representing global airlines.
“I’m surprised Heathrow hasn’t been able to come together better. The airlines predicted heavier traffic than Heathrow predicted…they clearly got it completely wrong,” the director-general of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) told Reuters.
“Telling airlines to stop selling — what a ridiculous thing for an airport to say to an airline,” Walsh said.
https://www.independent.ie/news/flights-from-london-heathrow-to-dublin-and-shannon-cancelled-by-aer-lingus-41839438.html Flights from London Heathrow to Dublin and Shannon have been canceled by Aer Lingus