30 january

Pirkka Tapiola among passengers affected by cancellation of Austrian Airlines flight from Moldova

Due to technical issues on the aircraft operating the OS 656 flight from Chisinau to Vienna, Austrian Airlines had to cancel its flight on Saturday, January 4.

Passengers have been told that the airline is not able to re-route them due to limited flight options. No aircraft replacement was provided, so that the stranded passengers have to wait until Sunday, January 5 to reach their destination.

Among the 150 passengers registered for this flight was the Head of the EU Delegation to Moldova, Pirkka Tapiola, who was flying together with his wife on holidays. In a posting on a social network, the EU official urges all those affected to get to know their rights and apply for compensation.

“This is a good case for all 150 passengers on the plane to study European norms on the protection of passenger rights,” Pirkka Tapiola said on Facebook. “A European Court ruling has stated that technical problems do not take away airline liability for compensation, except under special circumstances.”

He added: “[I] hope to see more competition on routes to Chisinau.”

Austrian Airline officials did not respond yet to Moldova.ORG inquiry about the status of the flight.

The airline used to operate two flights a day from Vienna to Chisinau in 2013. After updating their winter 2013/14 timetable the carrier cut down its flight arriving at midnight in Chisinau and departing for Vienna early in the morning the following day.

Update (January 5): Austrian Airlines reacted to Moldova.ORG’s news and its Twitter’s post and apologized to all passengers affected, including the EU Ambassador to Moldova via a posting on Twitter.

“We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience Mr. Tapiola and the fellow passengers had experienced. We will of course pass his feedback on internally. Our colleagues at customer.relations@austrian.com would be happy to look into this matter with each passenger personally,” could be read as airline’s response on Twitter.

It is to note that the carrier sent a second aircraft to Chisinau on Sunday to transport all passengers to their destination.