Minister angry about LAN “random” flight cancellation

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On Saturday morning Interior Minister Luis Alva Castro and journalist Beto Ortiz talked to a local radio station about the distress that they and fellow passengers experienced when they were left stranded at Lima Airport after LAN cancelled all flights to Trujillo, for no apparent reason.

According to Ortiz, the stranded passengers had tickets on a succession of three flights, all of which have apparently been cancelled. Alva Castro said that he had spoken personally to the authorities at Trujillo airport, and been told that the weather is clear and operations proceeding as normal. He added that an aircraft operated by rival airline Star Peru had landed there with no difficulties.

“It’s clear that the plane could leave, as if one has landed then it’s hard to believe that the weather has caused the airport to be closed,” said the senior minister. He explained that LAN had decided to fly all Trujillo-bound passengers to the city of Chiclayo instead, several hundred kilometers further north. He called the action “irresponsible”.

Journalist Beto Ortiz later claimed that shortly after Alva Castro had made these remarks, LAN offered him and his friends and colleagues the use of a private jet, while leaving the other passengers stranded.

He said that LAN had only offered a midday flight to Chiclayo, although the passengers had tickets to Trujillo. He added that the airline continues to blame the scheduling change on the weather, despite sending the private jet they offered to the minister directly to Trujillo airport.

The RPP Noticias Trujillo correspondent reported that weather conditions in Trujillo are normal, and consistent with full use of the airport for all flights. He said that the skies are clear and the sun is shining, although a dense fog yesterday did render the runways unusable.

LAN issued a statement denying that they had offered a private jet to certain passengers, saying that “if there had been any opportunity to send a private aircraft, it would have been for all 144 passengers,” and added that there had been no plans to send the passengers to Chiclayo. There is no midday flight to Chiclayo, claimed the company, and all passengers will be routed direct to Trujillo on a flight leaving at 5:05pm.

The company spokesperson maintained that safety is one of the company’s key values, and said that Trujillo airport has been closed due to fog for some days, including in the early hours of Saturday morning.

She explained that Peru has two alternative hub airports, Chiclayo and Pisco, and that the aircraft bound for Trujillo was coming into Lima from Piura. According to aeronautical law, an aircraft may not leave its point of origin if both alternative airports are closed. This had been the cause of the delays.

One Response

  1. I believe the real reason behind the delay was that Peru.21 did not deliver on time their newspapers that Lan offers free to passengers on flights.

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