EasyJet pilot issues warning to passengers before flying to Rhodes - which airlines have cancelled flights?
and live on Freeview channel 276
The easyJet pilot urged the plane full of passengers not to travel to the area as wildfires rage on, forcing thousands of people to be evacuated. The latest evacuations were ordered in south Rhodes after 19,000 people, mostly tourists, were moved in buses and boats out of the path of the fire that reached several coastal areas from nearby mountains.
In the final moments before take-off, the pilot issued a warning, urging the passengers on board the 180-seat capacity aircraft not to travel to the resort island. A passenger onboard the easyJet flight told BBC Wales the pilot told passengers over the tannoy before take-off: “Travelling to Rhodes for a holiday at the moment is a terrible idea.
“As far as I’m concerned, this flight is being operated on an emergency basis. Return flights are now being managed by the military. If you want to get off this flight, you are welcome to do so. “I don’t know in what capacity you are travelling, but if you are travelling for leisure, my sincere recommendation is it’s a bad idea.”
According to the passenger onboard, eight passengers chose to listen to the advice and disembark, including the young boy who was in tears. The flight had a total of 37 passengers and flew out of Gatwick to Rhodes on Monday (July 24), despite the terrifying fires on the Greek island.
On Monday, temperatures reached the low 40’s in parts of the Greek mainland, a day after soaring as high as 45 degrees. EasyJet, Tui and Jet2 all cancelled several flights to Rhodes while the evacuations were taking place.
Greece wildfires: Latest update
Several airlines are continuing flights to Greece as normal, but some have cancelled flights or package holidays scheduled for the coming days. The UK Foreign Office has not yet advised against travel to Rhodes - Instead advising people to follow guidance from the Greek emergency services.
Around 2,400 visitors and locals have also been evacuated from Corfu and there are also wildfires on Evia. Greek officials say the fires in Corfu are coming under control and are urging travellers to go ahead with their holiday plans.
Which airlines have cancelled flights?
Different airlines have issued different information and guidelines in regards to bookings.
Jet2 has cancelled all flights and holidays due to depart to Rhodes in the next seven days, but aircraft with no customers on board will be flown there in order to bring people back
Cancelled all its flights to Rhodes up to and including Friday, July 28. TUI has also cancelled all outbound flights to affected hotels up to and including Sunday, July 30. All customers will receive a refund. Customers currently in Rhodes may return on their intended flights or repatriation flights. Passengers due to travel to areas not affected by fires on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 July can change their travel dates or receive a refund.
Cancelled package holidays until Saturday, July 29 and is contacting customers due to travel to the affected resorts up to and including August 10 "to discuss their options". Running flights are scheduled as normal, but allowing customers to change their travel dates, and is sending repatriation flights.
Ryanair say they are running flights as normal
Cancelled some holidays to affected areas, with full refunds offered. Thomas Cook has added some customers booked to travel to other parts on Monday and Tuesday were being contacted with the option to cancel and be refunded if they wished.
British Airways flights to Rhodes and Corfu were running as normal, but customers needing to return early could change their flight for free, and those not wishing to travel there in the next week from the UK could postpone their flight.