British tourists are slowly returning home after a Saharan sandstorm blowing across the Canary Islands over the weekend turned the popular holiday destination into a Mars-like dystopian landscape.
Red clouds of sand grounded planes flying into and out of the Spanish archipelago’s airports. 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.
Earlier, customer service staff at the airports told the PA news agency they had remained open for passengers – despite there being no flights to board.
Passengers posted photographs of people sitting on the floor waiting for more information.
Greg Horsman, 29, was on holiday with his girlfriend and friends on a Tui cruise and was due to fly home to Manchester on Saturday evening.
But they were forced to stay in Gran Canaria for another two nights due to the storm.
He told PA: “It’s frustrating. We’re just ready to be home.”
Graham Whiteman, 30, arrived at Las Palmas airport at 5pm on Saturday night, but discovered his Tui flight back to Doncaster – which he was due to be on with his fiancee and her family – had been cancelled.
He said: “We were told we needed to check the boards for updates.
“We didn’t get any and then at 1.30am we found a Tui rep, who then sorted us out with a hotel room on the other side of the island at 4am.
“We got an email at 7.58am saying a coach…