Greece wildfires: Flights taking Northern Ireland tourists home from Rhodes
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Holiday operator Jet2 yesterday confirmed that a flight from Rhodes to Belfast was due to depart tonight (Tuesday, July 25).
It is one of several airlines working to bring UK customers home after widespread fires left thousands of holidaymakers stranded.
With many holiday resorts threatened by the flames, there have been reports of tourists sleeping at the airport or in makeshift rescue centres.
The airline said: “Yesterday (Monday, July 24), Jet2.com operated ten flights to the UK from Rhodes, which included four repatriation flights and six scheduled flights.
“Approximately 1,000 customers who have been displaced either flew back to the UK with us or were moved to hotels in unaffected areas.
"We will operate a repatriation programme today in tandem with today’s programme of nine scheduled flights, which will meet the demand we have.
"We have a hugely expanded team of colleagues in Rhodes, and they are present throughout resorts, evacuation centres, and at Rhodes Airport. Our colleagues are highly visible in their red uniforms and are working around the clock to communicate with, and look after, our customers. They are working in extremely difficult circumstances, and we are incredibly grateful for their efforts.
"Although events moved incredibly quickly over the weekend, it is extremely important to note that we acted immediately to suspend flights and holidays to Rhodes when we learned that the authorities were asking hotels in affected areas to evacuate.”
All flights and holidays to Rhodes remain cancelled up to and including Sunday, July 30, to give customers assurance and to avoid putting further pressure on the island’s infrastructure, according to the airline. “We have contacted affected customers with regards to their refund and rebooking options and if they wish to receive a refund, we will process this quickly,” the Jet2 spokesperson added.
“We continue to fly aircraft to Rhodes with no customers onboard, so that we can bring our customers back to the UK on their scheduled flights, as well as any additional Jet2 customers who wish to return to the UK.
“For customers due to travel to Rhodes beyond Sunday, July 30, we are continually reviewing the situation and will provide an update in due course.”