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Pope’s funeral hits airlines

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by Brian Turner
Pope's funeral hits airlines

Some airlines flying to Rome, especially low cost and charter carriers, have been impacted by the activities ahead of the funeral for Pope John Paul II on Friday.

Rome Ciampino, the airport closes to Rome and the only airport used by low cost and charter lines, was closed Thursday, as was all airspace in and around Rome beginning at 10.00 GMT and extending until midnight on Friday.

The closures are part of the security lockdown of Rome in view of the number of world leaders in town for the Pope’s funeral.

Of the low cost and charter carriers, Ryanair had to cancel all of its operations in and out of Ciampino, including 48 flights Thursday, 46 flights on Friday, and all but four on Saturday.

Passengers were being rebooked on new flights mostly in and out of Pescara, 130 miles east of Rome.

EasyJet, a UK carrier, had to cancel flights on Thursday and Friday as well, but were said to be arranging replacement flights to and from Bologna.

The larger carriers were not feeling as much effect.

British Airways has not cancelled any flights but was experiencing delays in and out of Rome, and Lufthansa has cancelled 2 or 26 fights but say they will compensate by using larger planes on some flights.

The larger airlines were having fewer problems because they operate mostly out of Rome Fiumicino airport, which was not closed but only lost 30 percent of its operating capacity.

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News posted: April 7, 2005

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