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Bombardier : (w/ADD) Lithuanian parliament speaker's delegation doesn't fit in airBaltic airplane

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10/12/2017 | 05:50 pm

(Adds comment from airBaltic)

VILNIUS, Oct 12 (LETA--BNS) - A delegation headed by Lithuania's Parliamentary Speaker Viktoras Pranckietis was forced to spend the night in Brussels after failing to fit in the airplane of Latvia's airBaltic airline. He was scheduled to return to Vilnius on Wednesday.

"We had to fly home with airBaltic via Riga. As always, unexpected problems emerge with Air Baltic. They sent a smaller plane to Brussels, so we and our Seimas speaker were kicked out. There was no room for us," conservative MP Andrius Kubilius, a member of the delegation, said in a Facebook post.

In his words, the Lithuanian delegation spent a night at a hotel at the airport and flew home with another airline via Poland.

The changes of the travel plans forced Pranckietis to cancel most of his agenda for Thursday.

irBaltic representative Alise Briede confirmed to LETA that due to technical reasons the airline was unable to use one of its Bombardier CS300 airliners to perform the Brussels-Riga flight on October 11. The company therefore replaced the Bombardier CS300 with a Q400 NextGen, which is a smaller plane.

"Because of technical reasons we sometimes have situations where we have to perform flights with smaller aircraft than planned and redirect passengers to the next available flight, using our own or other carriers' services. On average, such situations affect 0.03 percent of passengers a year. In such situations, we take care of all passengers and provide them with compensations," the airBaltic representative said.

She explained that in the given situation, there were not enough passengers who would voluntarily agree to wait for the next available flight. In such situations the airline gives precedence to passengers like children who travel alone and disabled people. Those passengers who are asked to reschedule their travel plans are offered free meals and lodging in hotels. "All the available travel alternatives were offered to the passengers of this flight individually," said Briede.

"We understand that the situation where passengers are denied boarding is extremely unpleasant to all the parties concerned, and we once more sincerely apologize for this situation," the airBaltic representative said.

Pranckietis and his delegation was in the Belgian capital on a two-day official visit on Tuesday and Wednesday.

© Pakistan Press International, source Asianet-Pakistan

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