Impact | 

Flights from London Heathrow to Dublin and Shannon cancelled by Aer Lingus

The airline said it is awaiting further direction from Heathrow to understand the impact on its schedule in the coming weeks

More flights have been cancelled today

Neil FetherstonhaughSunday World

Two one-way flights from London Heathrow to Dublin and Shannon have been cancelled by Aer Lingus today due to capacity reduction at Heathrow.

The airline said it is awaiting further direction from Heathrow to understand the impact on its schedule in the coming weeks, according to RTE.

In a statement, it said it will try to minimise disruption caused to customers.

Heathrow Airport has imposed a capacity cap of 100,000 daily departing passengers until 11 September amid a lack of resources.

Separately, industrial action at Bordeaux Airport and Lyon Airport has also led to the cancellation of two return flights tomorrow and one return flight on Saturday.

Aer Lingus has apologised to affected customers and said its teams are working to re-accommodate those impacted as soon as possible.

The airline said plans were in place to deal with the increased demand for travel following the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, but a significant spike in cases in recent weeks has created "considerable additional operational challenges".

As it operates up to 23 flights to and from Heathrow each day, Aer Lingus is one of the biggest users of the airport.

Heathrow also operates as a key gateway for travellers arriving and departing Ireland for other destinations, including many long-haul flights.

In a statement, the chief executive of the airport said the number of daily departing passengers was forecast to reach 104,000 this summer, which would result in lengthy queues and delays. As a result, they were capping the maximum number of departing passengers at 100,000.

"We are asking our airline partners to stop selling summer tickets to limit the impact on passengers," Heathrow Chief Executive John Holland-Kaye.

A spokesperson for Aer Lingus told the Irish Examiner they awaiting further directions to understand the impact on its schedule.

"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. Customers impacted will receive direct communication from Aer Lingus in the coming days."

The move by Heathrow was strongly criticised by the former Aer Lingus and British Airways boss Willie Walsh who now heads the body representing global airlines.

"I am surprised Heathrow have not been able to get their act together better than this. Airlines have been predicting stronger traffic than Heathrow has been predicting ... they clearly got it completely wrong," the director-general of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) told Reuters.

"To tell airlines to stop selling - what a ridiculous thing for an airport to say to an airline," Walsh said.

Today's Headlines

More Irish News

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

WatchMore Videos