With the rising number of coronavirus COVID-19 cases in the northern part of Italy, a lot of air companies operating in the region are forced to change their schedules and plans. The low-cost carrier Wizz Air has announced a major adjustment to its flight schedule – starting from 11 March, it stops its all flights to Milan (Bergamo airport) and Trevizo due to the compulsory quarantine in order to stop the spreading of the coronavirus.
Flights from Sofia and Varna to Milan – Bergamo will be cancelled to the 3rd of April.
The air passengers, affected from the by these cancellations, are informed and will be redirected for an alternative flight as soon as possible.
Wizz Air also states that “Customers who have booked directly on wizzair.com or the airline’s mobile app will receive an email notification, in which they are offered a free rebooking or full refund or 120 percent refund of the original fare in airline credit.”
While the airline’s main competitors were reluctant to make a decision, Wizz Air has decided to “significantly reduce” their flight capacity on Milan, Rome, Bologna, Bergamo and other routes in the region and offer passengers a change of date or a refund without additional charges. This decision resolves many doubts for many of the airline’s passengers who were thinking about cancelling their trips to Italy.
Passengers are also entitled to disrupted flight compensation.
Under the Regulation (EC) No. 261/2004, every passenger of a cancelled flight is entitled to compensation from the airline. Depending on the flight distance, the amount of cancelled flight compensation ranges between €250 and €600 for everybody whom the carrier failed to inform about the cancellation at least 14 days prior to the scheduled departure date. The air carrier could be exempted from such responsibility only if the flight disruption was caused by extraordinary circumstances – something that was completely out of airline’s control. Military actions, wildlife strikes, operational issues at the airport or public health emergencies could be considered extraordinary circumstances.
“In this situation, Wizz Air clearly stated that it’s the airline’s decision, related only to the decreased demand on its Italian routes. In other words, they won’t fly the passengers who have already paid them for the service because the airline is afraid that it won’t make any profit out of that flight. The purpose of the Regulation (EC) No. 261/2004 is to protect the rights of all the passengers who booked seats on such flights.”