Adria Airways cancels one rotation to Vienna, Austria over unpaid EU261 compensation

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Slovenian airline Adria Airways was forced to cancel yesterday’s evening rotation between Ljubljana, Slovenia and Vienna, Austria. Passengers already boarded the aircraft, a leased British Aerospace 146, operated by WDL Aviation, but had to disembark again. According to Slovenian multi-media web portal Siol.net, bailiffs and police officers were awaiting the aircraft at Vienna airport trying to recover outstanding debts from the airline. 

A dispute between the airline and an Austrian passenger lies behind the cancellation as the passenger unsuccessfully requested a financial compensation (EU261) over a delayed flight. The passenger went to court and won the case, an amount of €250 (plus interest and court costs) the airline never paid back.

The particular flight (JP136) was operated by German subcontractor WDL Aviation, it’s still questionable whether the bailiff would actually seized the aircraft. But WDL Aviation didn’t want to take the risk and decided not to operate the flight. Looks like the debt was quickly settled as this morning’s rotation between Ljubljana and Vienna (JP284-JP285) was operated by a company Bombardier CRJ-900 (S5-AFC).

According to Siol.net, Adria Airways is facing financial difficulties. Worse, the airline is one of the largest debtors of European air traffic regulator Eurocontrol. In early 2019, Adria Airways cancelled its MOU with Sukhoi Civil Aircraft regarding the long term lease of 15 SSJ100s, as the carrier was not able to finalise the contractual clauses with the Russian side.

Next to the financial dispute, the airline also faces industrial actions from its pilots beginning next Sunday after the pilots failed to reach an agreement over their new collective labour agreement with the company’s management. The strikes, each lasting three days, will run from September 8 at midnight until September 10 at 23.59, from September 18 at midnight until September 20 at 23.59 and from September 30 until October 2.

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