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Canary Islands airports reopen after sandstorm closures

A number of Aer Lingus and Ryanair flights were cancelled over the weekend.

Image: PA Images

HOLIDAYMAKERS WILL BE able to return home after all but one of the Canary Islands’ airports reopened following closures caused by a Saharan sandstorm.

Flights from Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma and North Tenerife Airports will be able to take off, according a statement from airport operator Aena.

But those departing South Tenerife continue to be grounded, the statement added.

Earlier, customer service staff at the airports said that the airports had remained open for passengers, despite there being no flights to board.

A number of Aer Lingus and Ryanair flights were cancelled over the weekend. 

Passengers posted photographs of people sitting on the floor waiting for more information.

The sandstorm, known as a “calima”, reduced visibility to zero at times over the weekend, preventing aircraft from leaving major airports on the islands. 

storm Source: PA Images

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 22 February and Sunday 23 February.

“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,” they said. 

An earlier statement from the Irish Travel Agents Association advised passengers to check with their travel agent, online, or with airlines for the status of their flight before travelling to the airport.

“We have been advised that this weather disruption should not continue for more than a day or so. However, there will be a backlog to flying holidaymakers back home,” said John Spollen, President of the ITAA. 

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