Some 176 passengers and crew stranded in Rome for two days after a Cyprus Airways flight was cancelled due to technical problems and is expected to return to Larnaca on Thursday night.
The 170 passengers and six crew were scheduled to depart on Tuesday from Rome’s Fiumicino Airport but were told their flight had been cancelled as a problem was spotted by technicians performing pre-take-off checks.
In comments to the Cyprus News Agency, Cyprus Airways Commercial Director Christos Limnatitis they were confirmed that passengers were checking in on Thursday, with the flight expected to arrive at Larnaca Airport at 6 p.m.
Limnatitis said the technical problem was not serious, but a component needed to be replaced.
He said, “Because the flight was scheduled to leave on Tuesday night, the component was ordered on Wednesday morning and replaced within the day.
“After the necessary work was done to fit the part on the aircraft, the technicians informed the company that it was ready to depart from Rome”.
He added that once the issue was fixed, passengers were informed that they were to be picked up from their hotels to be taken to the airport.
Asked why the airline did not send in a second plane to pick up the stranded passengers, Limnatitis said that “would mean that another flight would be affected”.
He argued that the airline had examined all possible alternatives.
“It was difficult for the passengers, which included families with children, to stay for two nights abroad, away from their home.
“The safety of passengers is the airline’s number one priority, and there was no way we could have made any discounts on safety issues so that the passengers would return to Cyprus”.
“From the first moment, the 170 passengers and the six-member crew were transferred to hotels in Rome, which was difficult to arrange within two hours’ notice.
“The company provided all the facilities to the passengers and crew.”