Large number of travellers on Mauritius holidays stranded
The eruption of Iceland's volcano not only caused chaos in the UK and Europe, but for many travellers on Mauritius holidays too as flights in and out of the region were backlogged and tourists reluctant to fork out for additional nights accommodation.
Air Mauritius found themselves in mayhem as many flights to Mauritius were cancelled causing a backlog of travellers and flights stranded in various places throughout Europe. A total of thirteen flights were cancelled leaving 7000 passengers taking Mauritius holidays stranded.
A press release from the airline stated:
"Since the resumption of services on 20 April, Air Mauritius has already operated three flights to Paris, one flight to Geneva and one flight to London."
Mauritius itself was struggling as tourists who had enjoyed their Mauritius holidays were stranded on the island and had to extend their stay. Tourists from other regions arrived in Mauritius only to find that their rooms were already occupied by stranded travellers.
An insider from a five star hotel in Mauritius, Le Touessrok, said:
"This week, we had some South African tourists waiting for their room to be cleared, still occupied by those who had had their flights cancelled."
Many tourists who were stranded had been enjoying package holidays but when they were forced to extend their stay, normal room tariffs were considerably higher than their packages. British airspace was closed from Wednesday 14 April as a large cloud of volcanic ash drifted south from Iceland, and opened again on Tuesday 20 April. The ash causes aircraft engines to break down and all flights were grounded as a precaution.
Travellers on Mauritius holidays were not the only ones to lose out financially as thousands of flights were cancelled to and from countries all over the globe.
Director General and Chief Executive of IATA, Giovanni Bisignani, said:
"For an industry that lost $9.4 billion last year and was forecast to lose a further $2.8 billion in 2010, this crisis is devastating."
The flight restrictions backlog is expected to cause continuing travelling delays and it could be a number of weeks before normal services and Mauritius travel is resumed and passengers reach their destination.
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