As a decision is being made over airline compensation for the grounded flights over the weekend, Flybe has hit out at the lack of compensation for passengers.
A technical glitch in the NATS air traffic control phone systems at the weekend caused flights to be severely delayed or cancelled in both the UK and abroad. Under current rules, passengers are not entitled to compensation as the glitch was out of the airlines’ control. However, Flybe has criticised air traffic control for washing its hands of any compensation to passengers hit by the “fiasco”. It said that it’s unacceptable that airlines have to “pick up the tab”.
Chief commercial officer Paul Simmons said: “It’s clearly not a fair system when NATS can wash their hands of any financial compensation to the millions of passengers who were let down. But the airlines once again have to act as ‘the Insurers of last resort’ and pick up the tab. That’s really not acceptable.”
170 Flybe flights were scheduled for Saturday 7th December, but only 27% of the services left within 15 minutes of their scheduled departure time, and four were cancelled.
NATS is currently carrying out an investigation into what went wrong with the system. Its regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority, is waiting for the results before deciding on compensation for airlines.