EasyJet scrambles five repatriation flights as Brits remain stranded abroad

Budget airline easyJet is offering repatriation flights to passengers stranded across Europe following Britain’s airport traffic control catastrophe on Monday.

The short-haul specialists which carry millions around Europe every year is running five repatriation flights from some of its most popular destinations, as Brits scramble back to Blighty following yesterday’s technical mishap.

The airline said in a statement: “Following the UK ATC systems issue on Monday, easyJet is now operating normally.

“We have been providing customers with assistance and hotel accommodation and advising anyone who has needed to make their own hotel or alternative travel arrangements that they will be reimbursed.”

The British brand added: “During this traditionally very busy week for travel, options for returning to the UK are more limited on some routes and so easyJet will be operating five repatriation flights to London Gatwick over the coming days from Palma and Faro on August 30, and Tenerife and Enfidha on Thursday August 31 and from Rhodes on Friday September 1.

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“We are also operating larger aircraft on key routes including Faro, Ibiza, Dalaman and Tenerife to provide some additional 700 seats this week.

“Although this situation was outside of our control, we are sorry for the difficulty this has caused for our customers and remain focused on doing all possible to assist and repatriate them. Customers will be moved onto repatriation flights and notified directly.”

The air traffic control system failure has wreaked havoc with punters’ plans, despite efforts from airlines to get Brits back home or out to their destination.

Sheffield family the Batkos spent the night in Leeds Bradford Airport after their flight to Krakow was cancelled and no local accommodation was available.

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Rafal Batko, who was flying out for his mother and father-in-law’s wedding anniversary celebration, told the PA news agency: “We’ve been here for 17 hours. We tried to get into a hotel but there was no space because everyone was in the same position.

“It’s stressful but fingers crossed we’ll get on one today. If not we’ll have to go home, we are tired and everything is too expensive to buy.”

Andrew and Michelle Fawcett told PA that they were “absolutely gutted” when they got to the airport, only to be informed that their flight to Crete had been pulled.

Mr Fawcett said: “Our holiday company told us to proceed to the airport as normal and when we got here someone from Jet2 told us our holiday had been cancelled. Not, ‘we can get you on a later flight,’ just cancelled.

“We’ve since been told Jet2 are trying to contact everyone to let them know if and when they can get them on another flight, but it may be up until Friday, our holiday company said. We’re going to go back home, that’s all we can do.”

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