Stranded travellers set to return home as Canary Islands airports reopen

UK holidaymakers stranded in the Canary Islands are to begin returning home after most of the Spanish archipelago’s airports reopened following a Saharan sandstorm.

Departures from Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma and North Tenerife were able to take off on Monday morning, but those departing from South Tenerife continued to be grounded.

Flights to and from the airports were cancelled, suspended or diverted over the weekend due to poor visibility.

Passengers queuing at Tenerife South airport
Passengers queuing at Tenerife South airport

Passengers posted photographs of people sitting on airport floors waiting for more information.

Greg Horsman, 29, was on holiday with his girlfriend and his friends on a Tui cruise and was due to fly home to Manchester on Saturday evening.

However, they were forced to stay in Gran Canaria for another two nights due to the storm.

Trees blow during the sandstorm
Trees blow during the sandstorm

He told the PA news agency: “It’s frustrating. We’re just ready to be home.”

A spokeswoman for Tui said: “We would like to sincerely apologise to customers for the disruption caused by the adverse and changeable weather conditions in the Canary Islands on Saturday February 22 and Sunday February 23.

“The safety of our customers and crew is always our highest priority and we are working tirelessly to find the best solutions for all our customers.”