Canarian authorities try to help stranded tourists while air travel chaos lasts

Canarian authorities try to help stranded tourists while air travel chaos lasts

Update 20 April: Some 200,000 people are affected directly from coming into or leaving the Canaries, says José Fernando Cabrera, president of Ashotel, the Asociación Hotelera y Extrahotelera de Tenerife, La Palma, La Gomera y El Hierro. The numbers are divided equally between those unable to leave and those who cannot arrive. The organization said that the issue was now causing “grave damage” to the tourist sector, a view acknowledged by the President of the Canaries, Paulino Rivero.

The Tenerife Cabildo’s tourism councillor, José Manuel Bermúdez, added that hotels have been asked to offer special prices to those who have no choice but to stay on the island. Ashotel itself assured that hotels were collaborating with tour operators, and operating under the crisis cabinet conditions set in place on Thursday so that no-one was forced to sleep in the airports.

Original Post 17 April: The air travel chaos caused by the Icelandic eruption saw 30,000 tourists trapped in the Canaries through cancelled flights yesterday alone, 20,000 of them being stranded in Tenerife. TFS Reina Sofía was the airport worst affected, as could be expected since it is the busiest.

AENA has activated several crisis cabinets in Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, and Fuerteventura, to reinforce services and attend to passengers whose flights have been cancelled. The cabinets are composed of members of AENA itself, flight companies, tour operators, tourism institutions and the Delegación del Gobierno del Estado en Canarias. All are “working hand in hand to offer the most comfortable and bearable stay possible to those affected until they are able to take their return flight home.”

The organization has adapted particular rooms for families with children and those with reduced mobility, and has reinforced services concerned with information, security, hygiene, and medical attention in Canarian airports with flights to northern Europe. It has also requested airport catering outlets to increase their provisions and, where necessary, to stay open longer. LO

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