Your flight is operated by Smartlynx Latvia on behalf of Easyjet

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  • Tom Otley

    I received this message through the Easyjet app (which is excellent)

    “Your flight is operated by Smartlynx Latvia on behalf of Easyjet”

    It’s a first time for me – Easyjet wet leasing aircraft to maintain the schedule, though it looks like they have done it before.

    “SmartLynx Airlines is a private European airline that was founded in 1992. SmartLynx has been operating charter flights on behalf of leading airlines for many years. This year, they will celebrate their 30th anniversary.

    SmartLynx fly a fleet of Airbus A320 aircraft on our behalf and meet strict IOSA and EASA safety standards.
    The seat layout on board is very similar to ours but seat numbers in the last rows may vary.

    On board you’ll be met by an experienced crew who have been trained to deliver our warm and friendly service. Our brand new Eat.Drink.Shop product range will be available to pusrchase [sic] via contactless payment.

    SmartLynx will be operating a small number of flights from London Gatwick, London Luton, Bristol and Porto on our behalf in busy periods. If your flight is operated by SmartLynx this will be displayed on Flight Tracker and in your pre-departure emails.”

    Note the bit about food being available…

    then I got this message

    “Fresh sandwiches and hot food may not be available on your flight, we’re very sorry about any inconvenience this may cause. If you have any medical or dietary requirements, you may wish to bring your own fresh food with you. Please remember that if you buy alcohol before your flight, you won’t be able to drink it on board.”

    and then this one

    “There may be delays at the airport security control before your flight and we recommend that you arrive at the airport at least 2.5 hours before your flight time.
    Please have your bags ready before you go through security, making sure that any liquids are carried in a see-through and resealable bag, and that any electronic items are carried separately.
    The boarding gate will close promptly 30 minutes before the scheduled departure time.”
    Please share this message with any other customers who are travelling with you.
    We’re looking forward to welcoming you on your flight!”

    There are differing reports about the age and interior condition of the aircraft, so it will be interesting to see. Some of these aircraft were previously wet leased by Wizz Air.

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    Tom Otley

    Well, the title of this thread may have been slightly mis-labelled.


    I am told they are actively looking for another aircraft to operate the flight, so if anyone has one spare…

    Meanwhile, only two lounges are open at Gatwick South, and they aren’t taking any card holders, just pre-booked and pre-paid.

    Tom Otley

    I read with interest the piece this morning about Gatwick activiely forcing airlines to further curtail their flights.

    Gatwick to limit flight capacity during July and August

    I agree.

    My experience yesterday was that while the food and beverage outlets at Gatwick are over-whelmed, the staff are doing everything they can to help. The airlines, however, and certainly in our case, Easyjet, are way out of their depth.

    I knew the airlines were busiest at weekends, so avoided travelling on Friday to Sunday, and booked our flight to Turin with Easyjet on a Thursday.

    That decision seemed to be vindicated when Easyjet cancelled Friday’s Turin flight a few weeks ago.

    Then we learn the flight is being operated by SmartLynx Latvia.
    And there wouldn’t be food and drink on board.
    And the airport will be busy, so turn up two and a half hours before the flight.

    By the time we were through security at 1400 for the 1635 departure, it was showing a delays of nearly thee hours.
    This then went to 6 hours, and then 7 hours, and then we were cancelled.

    When we asked Gatwick staff how we could get back landside, they directed us to the Easyjet airline desk.

    Bear in mind Easyjet is the biggest operator at Gatwick.

    This is the Easyjet airline desk


    It was a further 90 minutes after notice of cancellation before we could get back airside.

    Obviously there are no other flights available to Turin for anything under £400 each from any other airport, and not many to Milan for anything like a reasonable price.

    The aircraft was fully-booked, so that will be costing Easyjet tens of thousands in hotels, compensation claims etc…

    And BA was cancelling flights at the same time (huge queue at that desk) and Aer Lingus.

    If the airlines keep selling these flights they cannot staff or operate, someone has to stop them.

    I heard several reasons for the cancellations. ATC problems at Swanwick, our aircraft going tech, not enough staff. Only Easyjet knows, and they just said ‘it was a technical problem with the aircraft’


    A point of interest here is Jet2 have had few cancellations as most of their personnel are their own people and not third party. Not surprisingly they are taking every opportunity to maximise publicity on this

    Tom Otley

    Yes, and Ryanair seem to be having fewer cancellations as well.

    I have considerable sympathy with the airlines – it’s been a torrid time, and the government removed the furlough scheme in September but restrictions lasted a further 6 months, meaning they had to cut even more staff, but they are still selling flights they cannot operate, and still cancelling hundreds each week that they cannot operate.

    I am now writing a piece on how to claim under EU 261 which I imagine will be well read in coming weeks….

    Tom Otley

    Interesting angle on it from The Telegraph

    Airlines use post-Brexit loophole to bring in foreign workers amid staff shortages

    British Airways, easyJet and TUI are borrowing EU-registered aircraft under ‘wet leasing’ agreements

    British Airways has borrowed four aircraft from Finnair and four from sister airline Iberia instead of using any of 18 UK-registered Airbus planes the flag carrier has in storage, according to industry sources.  

    EasyJet has “wet leased” eight aircraft to operate out of Gatwick and one out of Bristol from Latvia’s SmartLynx Airlines….


    I still cannot understand why the airlines are short of staff when just a few months ago they were continuing to lay off employees.

    That said, the lack of flight capacity is a reality of today.Therefore, in my opinion creative ways to operate aircraft and transport the passengers are to be applauded. The reduction of seats sold so that fewer cabin crew are needed on each airplane is one way,the use of larger planes is another while wet-leasing is yet another.

    If BA operates a route with wet-leased aircraft from member aircraft of the same company(IAG) that seems a logical move from the original merger of BA and Iberia. Using a partner of the same alliance(oneworld) such as Finnair is also a logical step. It has to be remembered that all the redundant aircraft lying up in places, such as Lerida or wherever, cannot be flown without crews.

    Easyjet does not have those advantages but seems to be solving its problems with Smartlynx.

    The problems at the airports are different. Handling is a problem to be solved between the airline involved and the company offering the service. Usually an adequate payment system is often the solution though this involves an increase in costs. The smooth running of the Border (Customs and Immigration) Service is a problem exclusively of the government and needs to be solved by them without more ado. If not, then the government should be held to account with fines and compensation payable to the airlines and/or passengers.

    It is said that the lack of manpower is because of the visa restrictions applied to the previous supply from the EU. The answer to that is to relax the visa (work and residence permit) requirements, obviously to be reciprocated by the EU. The other way is to relax the requirements for Commonwealth citizens to take up the jobs. Refugees provide a third source of possible employees. Our Sir Humphreys of the world need to be flexible and think outside of the box so as to give our ministers solutions and not obstacles.

    I refrain from commenting on Brexit.

    When it comes down to the nitty-gritty, in these troubled times, I could not care less which aircraft and crew fly me as long as the service is acceptable, I do not get left behind, and I arrive more or less at the appointed time, with my bags.

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