British holidaymakers stranded in Cape Verde due to dust cloud

Flights from Boa Vista cancelled over Christmas

Boa Vista island (Republic of Cape Verde) : Curralinho Beach

British holidaymakers have been left stranded on a paradise African island over Christmas because of a huge dust cloud.

Passengers due to fly back to Manchester from Cape Verde on Christmas Day were told they could not go home and do not yet know when they will be able to return.

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The Manchester Evening News reports flights have been unable to land at Boa Vista Airport for a number of days due to a Saharan dust cloud causing poor visibility.

Passengers due to fly home on the Thomson flight have been returning to the airport every morning to be told their flight has been cancelled.

Arrangements have been made to provide those affected with hotel accommodation.

Couple Nathan Stacey, 22, and Danielle Gibson, 23, who got engaged during their trip, have been unable to return home to celebrate with family.

Nathan, from Denton, Greater Manchester, said: "We were meant to fly on Christmas Day. We went to the airport, for a few hours it said cancelled. There were no reps around.

"We got taken back to the hotel, we were told we would be flying back the next day.

"We were waiting for nine hours and told the flight would be cancelled again.

"We have been told to come back to the airport every day at 9am."

He added: "I am running out of clean clothes and toiletries, there are no shops or anything around here.

"Yesterday morning they cut off the WiFi, so we couldn't get in touch with family members to let them know we were still here.

"We got engaged while we were on holiday. Our family had planned celebratory drinks with champagne, now it has gone to waste.

"A lot of people here had plans to meet back with their children on Christmas Day."

A spokesman for Thomson said: "As a precautionary measure due to poor visibility and weather conditions we have taken the decision to delay landing into Boa Vista and land safely into SID airport on the nearby island of Sal.

"Customers who were due to travel to Boa Vista are being looked after at all-inclusive accommodation in Sal.

"We recognise the inconvenience this may cause, but the safety of our customers and crew is primary concern.

"Our dedicated resort teams in Cape Verde are working with the relevant authorities and hoteliers to ensure everyone is looked after and kept updated with the latest information and advice whilst we monitor the situation."

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