Thousands of passengers have been impacted as Aer Lingus cancels 16 flights

More Aer Lingus flights have been canceled this weekend due to staff absences due to Covid-19 – bringing the total number of flights affected to 16.

Up to 4,000 people are expected to be affected by cancellations this weekend as the number of Covid cases continues to rise among airline staff.

Three more return flights to Dublin Airport between Lisbon, Amsterdam and Milan have also been canceled today.

Air and Travel Magazine’s Eoghan Corry told Newstalk this morning that there may be more cancellations today.

“The focus has completely shifted from safety queues, which worked very well yesterday, no longer than 35 minutes, to flight cancellations.

“There will be a few of those. The question is, overall, how disruptive will it be for passengers?”

The daa says the army is “ready to deploy if necessary,” although inside union sources warn it’s not an option for them.

Meanwhile, Ireland Thinks poll shows more than a third of people are reconsidering their travel plans due to the airport disruption.

Three return flights between Dublin and London, Dublin and Amsterdam and one return flight between London and Knock were canceled yesterday.

Two return flights from Dublin to Lyon were also canceled yesterday following industrial action by ground handlers at Lyon airport.

On Friday, the airline canceled 19 flights in a series of cancellations that first began last weekend and have affected thousands of holidaymakers.

It comes as more travel chaos could loom after Spain-based Ryanair cabin crew announced their plan to go on strike for another 12 days this month.

Their unions are demanding better working conditions for workers and announced this yesterday, on the final day of the cabin crew strike which resulted in the cancellation of 10 Ryanair flights.

Cabin crew plan to go on three strikes later this month, with demonstrations taking place at the 10 Spanish airports where Ryanair operates.

According to the Dublin Airport website, the current security wait times are 35 minutes for Terminal 1 and 15 minutes for Terminal 2.

Pictured are long queues at Aer Lingus baggage drop in Dublin Airport's Terminal 2.  Photo: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie
Pictured are long queues at Aer Lingus baggage drop in Dublin Airport’s Terminal 2. Photo: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

Aer Lingus Regional founder Padraig Ó Ceidigh said he believes the problems will continue for the rest of the year.

Speaking on Newstalk, Mr Ó Ceidigh said: “I believe this will take something between four and six months to resolve because there is now a combination of factors seriously affecting flights and canceling flights not just in Dublin but everywhere Europe as well.

“Obviously one of them has to do with the renewed outbreak of Covid and coupled with that is the problems that airports are having, particularly Dublin Airport, in terms of having enough manpower or staff to handle passenger throughput. “