Published on Thursday, December 29, 2016
Brits hoping to fly to or from Cape Verde are being told to contact their travel company or airline for updates as sand storms are causing severe flight problems.
Some holidaymakers due to fly out of Boa Vista on Christmas Day and Boxing Day with Thomson Airways are still on the island and there are newspaper reports of 'growing tensions' as they have no idea when they will get home.
Thomson Airways updated its website yesterday afternoon to say flights from Boa Vista to Manchester, Gatwick and Birmingham 'have been delayed until further notice and will depart as soon as we are able to safely operate into Boa Vista airport'.
Flights out of Manchester to Boa Vista on Christmas Day and Boxing Day were diverted to the neighbouring island of Sal.
However, Thomson said yesterday: "As there has been no improvement in the weather in Boa Vista customers will be brought back to Manchester today and have the option of a full refund or transfer to an alternative holiday."
Thomson said it hoped a Birmingham to Boa Vista flight would depart today, 'weather permitting'.
The Foreign Office has updated its advice to say: "Sand storms from the Sahara are affecting local and international flights across Cape Verde.
"Sal is the only island currently receiving international flights. Stay in touch with your travel company or airline for updates on the situation."
Thomson said: "As a precautionary measure due to poor visibility and weather conditions we have taken the decision to delay landing into Boa Vista and land safely into SID airport on the nearby island of Sal.
"Customers who were due to travel to Boa Vista are being looked after at all-inclusive accommodation in Sal.
"We recognise the inconvenience this may cause, but the safety of our customers and crew is primary concern.
"Our dedicated resort teams in Cape Verde are working with the relevant authorities and hoteliers to ensure everyone is looked after and kept updated with the latest information and advice whilst we monitor the situation."
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The recent insolvency of Low Cost Travel Group, one of the large players in the travel industry had a big impact on the travelers, hotels and all related players from both wholesale & retail arms. There were about 27,000 people on a holiday who had booked through the company comprised of a €200 million wholesale arm and €500 million OTA / retail arm.