Aer Lingus cancels 11 more flight amid soaring Covid cases

Aer Lingus cancels 11 more flight amid soaring Covid cases
Irish airline has seen daily cancellations from Dublin this week

Aer Lingus has been forced to axe 12 more flights today, following daily cancellations from Dublin and Belfast airports this week.

The beleaguered Irish airline has cut nine return flights and one direct flight from Dublin, and one service from Belfast on Friday.

The airport issued a statement apologising to passengers and blamed the cancellations on “considerable operational challenges” and a spike in staff sickness caused by Covid.

The 8.05am flight from London Heathrow and the 3.10pm from London Gatwick are among the services to Dublin scrapped today.

Meanwhile, the 10.55am Aer Lingus flight from Belfast City to London City has been cancelled; a British Airways flight operating the same route at the same time has also been cut.

It follows days of disruption for the carrier, with 12 flights canned on Wednesday, including return services from Dublin to Edinburgh, Frankfurt, Lyon, Geneva, Munich and Amsterdam, and six flights, including a Dublin to Heathrow return service, cancelled on Thursday.

Earlier in the week, 13 and three Aer Lingus flights got the chop on Sunday and Monday respectively, in part due to air traffic control strikes in France, Italy and Spain.

“Our teams are working to secure alternative travel options for customers in each case and wish to apologise to those impacted for the inconvenience,” an Aer Lingus spokesperson said.

“Just over 1 per cent of Aer Lingus flights have been impacted by cancellations this month.”

They added: “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.”

It follows a week in which Heathrow was forced to cut 30 flights on Thursday morning after passenger numbers were predicted to surge by 13 per cent.

One in 40 flights from the UK’s busiest airport was cancelled, affecting at least 5,000 travellers.

A Heathrow spokesperson said: “We will work with airlines to get affected passengers rebooked onto other flights outside of the peak so that as many as possible can get away.”