Adria Airways is the national airline of Slovenia, though the airline is in serious debt with no easy way out, and by many accounts is on the brink of collapse. While perhaps only partly related to that, Adria had quite a flight canceled yesterday for an interesting reason.
Last night’s Adria Airways flight from Ljubljana to Vienna was canceled. The reason? Apparently the police was waiting on the ground in Vienna to recover outstanding debts from the airline. With this knowledge, Adria decided to cancel the flight.
The outstanding debts were for just 250EUR, so how could that happen? Well, Adria Airways has a habit of not paying EU261 compensation, which is the compensation airlines owe passengers in the event of a serious delay or cancelation. This is government mandated, though that doesn’t stop many airlines from trying to get out of it.
Slovenian media is reporting that an Austrian had requested EU261 compensation back in 2017 from Adria Airways, but never received it. The passenger took the airline to court, and won the case. However, the airline never paid the 250EUR.
It’s not entirely clear what would have happened if the Adria flight had operated to Vienna. Would they have prevented passengers from getting off the plane, or would they have impounded the plane and not allowed it to leave?
The interesting added wrinkle here is that it wasn’t even an Adria Airways plane that was scheduled to operate the flight. Adria is currently leasing some planes from other companies, and the flight would have been operated by WDL Aviation, a German leasing company.
I’m not enough of an expert on Austrian law to know how that would have actually worked out. Could Austrian officials have stopped a plane leased from a German company due to lack of payment by a Slovenian company?
What’s ironic about all of this is that now they owe EU261 compensation to everyone who was booked on the flight. So their lack of payment of one 250EUR claim now means that 100+ people will potentially be entitled to the same amount of compensation.
Whether or not they end up paying that remains to be seen. 😉