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Canceled Flights and Tension – Staff Shortages at WizzAir and in the Aviation Industry

Hungary Today 2022.06.27.

Canceled flights, vulnerability, tension – the scourge of air travel in Europe is being felt more and more, and almost daily we hear of passengers who have been stranded in their home countries and are compensated late or with great difficulty, Index reports.

As Bloomberg reported, Lufthansa said in an emailed statement:

The entire aviation industry, especially in Europe, is currently suffering from bottlenecks and staff shortages. This applies to airports, ground handling services, air traffic control, and also airlines.”

The airline has canceled hundreds of summer flights due to a lack of passengers, exacerbating the challenges facing European aviation.

In a separate statement, Deutsche Lufthansa pointed out that there are particularly serious problems in the area of air traffic management. Wizz Air also spoke about this when contacted by Index on Saturday, after the news site asked them to clarify what the airline’s responsibilities, obligations, and roles are in the case of flight cancellations, and what exactly is expected of passengers. They said that staff shortages in the sector, particularly in air traffic control, ground operations, baggage handling, security, and airports, were clearly to blame for the disruption and delays.

Unfortunately, the longer the delay, the greater the chance of flight cancellations due to strict safety regulations, such as strict adherence to flight crew working hours or inflexible airport slots.”

This is also the reason behind an incident in France, “due to a lack of staff in air traffic control, our flights were delayed and our colleagues were unable to return to Paris on the last flight before the airport closed,” said Wizz Air.

Canceled Wizz Air Flight: Two Hundred Passengers Left Stranded in Paris
Canceled Wizz Air Flight: Two Hundred Passengers Left Stranded in Paris

One passenger reported that they had waited at the airport for hours until they were taken to a hotel for the night at 5 a.m.Continue reading

Many people at the French airport complained that they had hardly been informed by the airline about how they would get home, which the airline said was indeed the case, as they “…informed them of the cancellation by SMS and email.” However, they did not deny that the final cancellation of the flight had been communicated to the passengers by an airport cleaning lady.

Letters from Index readers also included that at the Paris Orly Airport “there was not even a WizzAir employee at the airport, so they had no one to contact, even though the message from the airline said so.” WizzAir responded by saying:

In the event of a cancellation, our passengers are taken care of on the ground by a company under contract with us, which is responsible for the proper care of passengers. We will investigate the situation mentioned in the article and if there is any failure on the part of the company contracted with us, we will take the necessary action.”

It was stressed that Wizz Air will compensate passengers for the inconveniences caused by the cancellation and that passengers can also claim a compensation amount set by law.

Wizz Air Flight Turns Back From Runway in Budapest
Wizz Air Flight Turns Back From Runway in Budapest

Passengers were asked to leave the flight, and facility operator Budapest Airport.Continue reading

According to Index readers, it’s not going so smoothly, as one of them wrote after the incident in France that

We have not received any information about refunds, compensation, or any claims for any of the flights since then. In fact, to add to the strangeness, it says a lot about Wizzair’s attitude that our colleague had a ticket for the Friday evening flight, who was due to arrive on the Budapest-Paris flight on Thursday, but that flight was canceled. We would have liked to rebook the other colleague’s flight home in his place, for which Wizz Air charged HUF 20,000 (almost EUR 50).”

Index adds, however, that stories typically reach the editorial offices in the form of letters from readers, often hours or days after the events, so it is worth being objective, if not reserved, in approaching them.

The company ended its 2022 financial year in March with 27.13 million passengers, compared to 10.19 million in the previous year. The European low-cost airline operates a fleet of 149 Airbus A320, A321, A320neo, and A321neo aircraft, with an average age of five years, Index reports.

Featured image: illustration via Pixabay

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