The president of Colombian airline Aires blames recent delays and flight cancellations on the rapid growth of the company and on external factors such as the weather.
Francisco Mendez said that the company has been expanding at a rate of 130% a month, and is working on a restructuring process to eliminate problems with the service caused by this. He said the 80% of delays are caused by external factors like weather, and that the company’s loss of an aircraft in an accident in San Andres has negatively impacted 10,000 passengers per month.
Last weekend 42 passengers with tickets on an Aires flight to Bogota were delayed in Armenia. Many were traveling home Monday after the three-day weekend holiday, but were forced to spend the night in the airport due to engine problems in the aircraft. Frustrated passengers asked the government to take action against the recent failures experienced by the Aires across the country.
Protests took place on October 18 at the airport in Popoyan after an Aires flight to Bogota was canceled. Police had to protect airline employees from angry passengers after they were informed their flight was canceled. There were other incidents of passenger protest over recently canceled flights in Cartagena and Cali.