Air France blames technical problems

2014-06-02 16:58
Air France baggage tag. (News24 Travel Reader/ Nick Hanley)

Air France baggage tag. (News24 Travel Reader/ Nick Hanley)

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Johannesburg – While passengers were getting increasingly furious with Air France about a two day flight delay, the airline has said that it was in the interest of flight and passenger safety.  

Air France confirmed in a statement on Monday afternoon that flight AF995 scheduled to operate the Johannesburg-Paris-Charles de Gaulle service on Saturday 31 May was initially postponed until 1 June, prior to finally being cancelled.  

The delay and eventual cancellation was reportedly caused by a technical problem on the aircraft. Local maintenance teams have been trying to repair the aircraft, following procedures and recommendations in accordance with the constructor’s manual, but with no success at this stage.  

A team of additional experts are currently en route to Johannesburg to assist the mechanics on site.  

According to the statement all passengers had been assisted by Air France staff. The airline added that it greatly regrets the incident and inconvenience caused to its passengers throughout this ‘irregularity.’

A number of readers have, however, made contact with News24 Travel, stating that the incident has had far-reaching effects on their travel plans, which could have been avoided if there was clearer communication from the airline.

“I have changed my booking to another airline and if I was not told that everything was fine yesterday I could have been in France yesterday already,” said Johann Bester, adding that they had missed their connecting train and lost a booking made in hotels for Saturday and Sunday.  

“They were not honest with us and I would definitely not use them again or recommend this airline to anyone,” he concluded.  

Fellow passenger, Pierre Coetzee shared a similar story, stating that he has had to make new flight arrangements, cancel accommodation and make new reservations. He also missed 50% of the conference in Ireland he was scheduled for.

News24 Travel reader, Emile Coetzer, sent in this photograph of the long queue of passengers waiting for feedback from Air France. 

“Passengers were promised numerous times that the problem would be solved within the hour but 1 hour became another hour and so forth. They refused to make a clear decision to cancel the flight making it impossible for passengers to cancel unilaterally for the fear of losing their money.

“Due to their inability to handle the matter with clarity and certainty many passengers lost thousands in accommodation and other flights,” he said. 

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Read more on:    air france  |  flights  |  travel  |  travel south africa

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