Vueling admits lack of specialist pilots to fly to “complex” airports

BarcelonaThe airline Vueling has admitted the lack of specialized pilots for the flight from Barcelona to Keflavík (located near the Icelandic capital, Reykjavík) when there is an adverse weather situation, such as the one that claims to have occurred this week and that it has caused a hundred passengers to be stranded in that country since Monday after their flight was canceled for four consecutive days. “In Florence, which is a difficult airport to operate due to what is known as the tailwind, we have specialized pilots, but in Reykjavík, where we have few flights and we rarely have inclement weather, no,” they told ARA company spokespersons.

If it happens every day, the same spokespersons have added, these pilots should be enabled on this flight or stop flying to this destination as the company has already done with Madeira. “In Florence we are the main airline and Iceland is not a priority destination,” they said. Apart from the lack of specialization of pilots, the airline also claims that flights canceled during the week could not leave because their planes are not ready to fly when it is very windy, although the rest of companies operated normally. The airline offers three return flights a week from Barcelona to Reykjavík.

As for the 96 passengers who have been trapped in Iceland since Monday, they were finally able to return to Barcelona this Friday. They did this in two flights: one at 3.30 pm (local time) and the other at 6.30 pm and it is expected to land in El Prat after midnight. Passengers whose flights had been canceled from Barcelona were also able to go to Iceland.

Victor and his partner, who were among those affected, confirmed this Friday that they were finally boarding the plane. They have been sleeping in three different hotels since Monday, waiting to be assigned a return flight. In fact, some 30 passengers are preparing a joint complaint against the company for the inconvenience, as many have not been able to go to work, and for the lack of information during this week. Apart from a Vueling worker who was found at the airport on Monday and at the hotel on Tuesday, the rest of the day they learned of the cancellation of flights due to the receptions of the hotels where they were staying or when they opened the Vueling application and saw that, without prior notice, the day of the journey had been changed.

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