Aer Lingus has confirmed that it was forced to cancel two transatlantic flights yesterday because of a shortage of aircraft.
The plane that was scheduled to operate yesterdays Shannon to New York service was repositioned to Dublin and used instead on the Dublin to Washington route.
The airline has again been criticised for not having a replacement aircraft available and for treating Shannon as a “second-class airport.”
Aer Lingus cancelled yesterday’s EI-111 service Shannon to New York as well as last nights EI-110 return leg because it needed the plane to fly another route from Dublin.
As a result, the 258 passengers affected by the cancellations were left to make alternative arrangements but were offered a refund or alternative flights.
The Boeing 757-200 aircraft had arrived in Shannon as usual from New York early yesterday (Monday) but later repositioned to Dublin Airport from where it later operated the EI-119 Dublin for Washington service at 1.10pm.
An airline spokesman said: “Aer Lingus flights EI111, planned to travel from Shannon to New York, and EI110 planned to travel New York to Shannon on 10th October, have been cancelled due to aircraft unavailability.
The 258 Guests affected by this schedule disruption have been offered alternative flights or a full refund. We sincerely apologise to our guests for the inconvenience caused by this disruption, which is due to circumstances beyond Aer Lingus’ control,” the airline said.
Clare Fianna Fáil TD Timmy Dooley said however: “It’s a totally unacceptable situation that Aer Lingus, now part of such a major airlines group (IAG), doesn’t have a replacement aircraft available when needed. Instead, they would sooner see customers at Shannon inconvenienced before it’s other passengers. Shannon has been relegated to being a second-class airport in the mind of IAG,”
“We were assured previously that Aer Lingus being part of the International Airlines Group would eliminate this kind of problem yet it continues to happen ” Mr Dooley added.
In March, Aer Lingus cancelled flights between Shannon and Boston over a whole weekend because of a technical problem with an aircraft.
In October 2015, the airline cancelled a flight from Shannon to Boston because the aircraft was needed to operated a service from Dublin to Toronto.