Blue Air exit causes travel chaos, rivals launch rescue fares for stranded pax

After Blue Air’s decision to suspend operations left thousands of passengers stranded in airports across the world, rival airlines Hungarian low-cost carrier Wizz Air and Irish budget airline Ryanair rushed to fill the gap in the market by offering low-fare rescue flights.  

Wizz Air launched a special webpage for stranded Blue Air passengers on September 7, 2022, the day after Blue Air suspended all its services. The Budapest-based airline also provided a special tariff for rescue flights, starting at around $49.  

No stranger to rescue flights, Dublin-based Ryanair is offering low-fare tickets available until October 31, 2022. However, Ryanair implemented some purchase limitations with stranded passengers able to purchase low-fare tickets only until midnight on September 9, 2022.

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At least 3,000 passengers were stranded in various foreign countries when Blue Air ceased flying, according to Romanian media.  

On September 7, 2022, in response to the situation, the Romanian government decided to delegate the country’s flag carrier Tarom aircraft to operate rescue flights to return residents home. Transport Minister Sorin Grindeanu confirmed to Romania Insider that once Romanian authorities collect all necessary data about the stranded passengers, the government will allocate around $1.01 million (RON 5 million) for special flights.  

So far, more than 2,098 Romanian citizens, currently stranded in the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Croatia, Greece, Israel, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom, have submitted a request to the consular office of Romania for a flight home.

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