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Wizz says suffered brief rostering issue, rejects Ryanair "chaos" charge

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FILE PHOTO: Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Luton
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DUBLIN (Reuters) - Low-cost airline Wizz Air on Monday said it suffered three days of operational disruptions due to a cabin crew rostering issue last week but it rejected rival Ryanair's charge that it was suffering "operational chaos."

O'Leary told an analyst call on Monday that he understood Wizz had cancelled hundreds of flights on a daily basis and had cancelled 14 routes from Vienna until September, where the Hungarian budget airline competes with Ryanair.

He said issues were due to staff levels and staff not being current, referring to regulations that can force pilots and cabin crew to require additional training if they do not fly enough over an extended period of time.

O'Leary said Ryanair, Europe's largest low-cost carrier, flew some empty planes during the height of the pandemic to ensure pilots fulfilled this requirement.

Wizz said in a statement it was affected for three days last week by a cabin crew rostering issue which resulted in operational disruptions. The issue was unrelated to pilots and has now been resolved, it added.

The airline described O'Leary's remarks as "inaccurate and misleading" and said that is was making efforts to operate all flights in an ever-changing environment ranging from volatile restrictions to high peaks in demand.

(Reporting by Conor Humphries in Dublin and Sarah Young in London, writing by Padraic Halpin)

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