Flights at Catania airport, on the southern Italian island of Sicily, have been cancelled due to a fire, during which no one was injured but caused the airport to close.
According to Euronews, the airport was meant to reopen this week, but Terminal A, which was affected by the fire, is expected to reopen on Tuesday (July 24).
In the meantime, many flights are being annulled or diverted to other airports in the region, which are also struggling to handle the sudden increase in passengers.
ItaliaRimborso reveals that Catania’s Vicenzo Bellini Airport operates flights to 91 destinations, of which 24 are domestic, and in total, around 100,000 passengers are predicted to be affected by the situation.
It is highly advised to arrive at most three hours before the flight to avoid crowds, while the airport is currently trying to increase the capacity of the terminal to accommodate the increased number of passengers.
In a Notice to Airmen, any flights outside Schengen, such as the UK, USA, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, and Romania, won’t land or depart from Catania airport until July 26. In an effort to avoid disruptions, UK’s Jet2 cancelled all flights in and out of Catania until August 3.
In general, Catania flights are being diverted to other Sicilian airports, such as the ones in Palermo, Comiso, and Trapani. These last two airports are significantly smaller than the one in Catania, leaving those to need help with the unexpected increase in passengers as well as flights that have to be operated.
“Due to the ongoing situation at Catania airport, non-Schengen flights to/from Catania might be affected. Please check your emails for updates on your flight status or contact our customer support. If booked via a travel agency, reach out to your agent,” Wizz Air says in a press release.
These airports are reported to be under stress as they try to process around 7,000 more passengers than they usually do while temperatures are reaching above 40 degrees Celsius.
Airlines advise passengers to check their apps for any updates, with Wizz Air also pointing out that all affected passengers are offered a refund and rebooking options in addition to accommodation.
“All passengers who have been affected by a cancellation or an airport change will be notified of their options,” Ryanair pointed out.
Italy’s ITA Airways is re-operating some flights to Comiso airport while also advising passengers to check their flight status before traveling. In addition, Jet2 cancelled all flights from and to Catania until next Thursday (August 3).