Travel agents have been working round-the-clock to get customers affected by the Saharan sandstorm in the Canary Islands back home.

Adverse conditions forced more than 820 flights to be grounded on Sunday alone and Jet2.com cancelled flights on Monday.

Thousands of holidaymakers were left with delays to return flights at the end of the February half-term school holiday.

Hays Travel agents Nicola Armstrong and Stacey Malone joined forces to try and find an earlier flight for two children and their grandparents, whose return flight to Newcastle last Friday was cancelled.

Just after 9pm on Saturday Armstrong took a call from a mother who was concerned for her parents and children stuck in Tenerife.


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Although the group had been offered hotel accommodation and an easyJet flight on Saturday (February 29), the mother asked if an earlier flight could be found.

Nearly 15 hours later, Armstrong’s colleague Stacey Malone, who took over the enquiry, booked the children and their grandparents on a Ryanair flight to Leeds Bradford airport on Thursday (February 27).

“Despite limited availability, our agents managed to get them on an earlier flight home to Leeds Bradford,” a Hays Travel spokesperson said.

Barrhead Travel president Jacqueline Dobson said teams had “gone over and above” to help affected customers over the last few days.

“We had clients who urgently had to return home and couldn’t wait for their rearranged flight,” she said. “Our team was able to step in and make alternative arrangements to get them back to the UK by looking at different routes.”