Blue Air suspends all flights

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Blue Air of Romania has suspended all flights. The carrier, which had a busy network of flights out of the UK, closed operations on Tuesday afternoon, promising to resume service next Monday, 12 September.

All Blue Air flights from Bucharest to London Heathrow Airport, along with return flights, are shown as canceled prior to 9/11.

The airline also served Birmingham, Liverpool and Luton.

Blue Air’s bank accounts have been suspended by the Romanian government, which claims the airline owes it money.

The carrier accused the consumer protection authority in Bucharest of urging people to avoid Blue Air. Authorities have fined Blue Air €2m (£1.72m) for canceling thousands of flights.

According to Romanian magazineTransport Minister Sorin Grindanu has offered the national airline Tarom five million lei (£900,000) to bring home Romanians stranded abroad due to the suspension of Blue Air flights.

The minister said passengers whose flights were canceled would be able to claim a refund from Blue Air.

Both Ryanair and Wizz Air offer “lifesaving” fares to Blue Air passengers, selling seats for a fixed price of €50 (£43) when bookings are confirmed with a grounded carrier.

Ryanair’s Dara Brady said: “While Blue Air is ‘suspending’ flights within Europe, Ryanair continues to operate a full schedule with over 3,000 flights a day.”

Blue Air has taken advantage of the temporary slot availability at Heathrow Airport during the coronavirus pandemic to launch flights to and from the UK’s busiest airport. I can’t believe the airline has long-term slot rights.

The carrier is still selling flights: on Monday, a trip from London Heathrow Airport to Bucharest will cost £40 one way.

But the experience of other recent smaller airlines in Central and Eastern Europe, such as Adria Airways, shows that it is extremely difficult to revive a suspended airline.

Airline schedule analyst Sean Moulton said: “Other brands will pull customers away from Blue Air, further slowing the recovery.

“Moreover, this morning Wizz Air announced an expansion in Romania, with about 30 routes to increase the frequency of flights in the coming months.

“It will hurt Blue Air even more.”

The airline’s Twitter account @FlyBlueAir has been inactive since 2019.

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