Italy presses carriers to ensure sufficient fleet in place

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Italian aviation regulator ENAC is calling on airlines to ensure they have sufficient aircraft to support fully the routes they are operating, after clamping down on more service disruption problems.

ENAC summoned Italian start-up carrier Air Bee to a meeting on 7 August to discuss recent service disruptions, notably on flights from Crotone and Trapani, while again raising concerns at service disruption on MyAir flights.

The regulator says an analysis of Air Bee operations shows it has an insufficient number of aircraft compared with the number of routes it operates. When combined with technical failures, this shortfall has led to flight cancellations. The carrier, which operates Boeing MD-82s from Brescia and Rome bases, has committed to ENAC to stabilise its operations as soon as possible and ensure aircraft are in place in case of technical difficulties.

ENAC is also continuing to monitor the operations of budget operator MyAir, with which it met last month to discuss recent service disruptions. In a fresh update it notes some delays and disruptions, largely due to technical problems, have persisted, but that the necessary assistance to passengers has been provided. ENAC president Vito Riggio is again calling on MyAir to implement the necessary improvements to ensure regularity and efficiency in flights.

He also stresses ENAC will be monitoring all Italian airline activities in the light of general delays and service disruption this summer.

"Many of the problems this summer are linked to insufficient fleet compared with routes that airlines have undertaken to work and for which they sold tickets," he says.

He points to the need for all operators, especially smaller carriers, to demonstrate to ENAC they have sufficient aircraft to operate their planned schedule. ENAC will ask airlines to submit their schedule for peak holiday periods - namely Christmas, Easter and July and August - so it can check airlines have enough aircraft to operate them.