Tui says compensation will be provided after holidaymakers had to spend a night in Las Palmas airport in the wake of the weekend sandstorm which engulfed the Canary Islands.

Two groups of passengers were taken from Gran Canaria to Las Palmas in the hope that they would be flown back to Cardiff and Manchester.

The aircraft arrived, but the flight crew were unable to complete the return flights within their legal maximum hours.

The pilots and cabin crew were taken to hotels to rest until the new scheduled flight time on Tuesday afternoon. But the passengers were left to fend for themselves, according to The Independent.

Many passengers used social media to highlight their plight.

When asked by the newspaper why it had not met its obligation to care for passengers, the operator did not respond to the question.

Instead a spokesperson said yesterday: “We would like to sincerely apologise to our customers whose flights were disrupted by adverse and changeable weather conditions in the Canary Islands over the weekend.

“The safety of our customers and crew is always our highest priority and we’re working tirelessly to get everyone to their destination as quickly as possible.

“Following an improvement in the weather overnight, all flights scheduled to depart to the Canary Islands today will be operating as planned.

“We are very sorry for any inconvenience caused and would like to thank our customers for their co-operation and patience.”

As the latest delays were operational rather than weather-related, The Independent asked Tui if it would pay each passenger €400 as the rules require.

The spokesperson said: “We will in contact with customers to provide them with some compensation.”