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Air traffic control news: Airlines demand compensation reform as NATS outage sees 2,000 flights cancelled

Air traffic control news: Airlines demand compensation reform as NATS outage sees 2,000 flights cancelled

Simon Calder on air traffic control chaos – how to get refunds, compensation

Airlines have demanded compensation reform as air traffic control chaos has seen 2,000 flights cancelled across Europe.

More than 2,000 flights have been cancelled in the last three days, following an hours-long air control system failure that sent flight schedules into meltdown and left thousands of travellers stranded.

Industry body Iata projected a £100m loss in revenue for airlines as customers reclaim the costs for food, accommodation and alternative travel, urging the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to review the compensation system and make the National Air Traffic Services (Nats) contribute to the cost.

“It’s very unfair because the air traffic control system, which was at the heart of this failure, doesn’t pay a single penny”, Willie Walsh, the director general of Iata, told the BBC.

He added that the UK should “look at the way passenger compensation is dealt with to ensure that the people who are responsible for the delays and cancellations ultimately bear the costs.”

The UK’s air traffic control boss, Martin Rolfe, said the glitch – caused by “dodgy” flight data – has been fixed and will not occur in the future.

Have you been affected by delays? If so email


AMA with Simon Calder: Holiday interrupted

“We were informed that our Jet2 flight out to Gran Canaria and subsequent holiday were cancelled not because of the NATS issue, but because the knock on delay meant although the fresh crew could fly their first sector (and us) out, they would be out of hours to complete the return and this be stuck away from Bristol.

“As the company has apparently decided not to fly our flight, can compensation be claimed for this as it was a Jet2 scheduling decision not as a direct cause of the NATS problem?”

SC: An interesting question, but I am afraid that the airline can mount the reasonable explanation as follows: that the extreme disarray caused by Monday’s air-traffic control collapse, and in the process of trying to recover the schedule it is not feasible to night stop the crew and aircraft in Gran Canaria.

Maanya Sachdeva30 August 2023 09:41


AMA with Simon Calder: Stress and expense

“Can we claim compensation under EU regulations or is this situation…

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