Canary Island airports reopen after Saharan sandstorm
Canary Islands airports resumed operations on Monday following a Saharan sandstorm that left hundreds of travellers stranded. ENAIRE, the air navigation manager in Spain and Western Sahara, tweeted that all airports reopened on Monday.
It revealed that air traffic was restored overnight.
Airport operations company Aena tweeted that all airports except Tenerife South Airport had commenced normal operations. The company said around 822 flights were affected.
They advised travellers to check the status of their flight with the airline as some flights may still be affected.
Over the weekend, flights from Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, North and South Tenerife airports in the Canary Islands were grounded due to a Saharan sandstorm.
Hundreds of holidaymakers were left stranded at various airports in the Canary Islands as the sandstorm’s aftermath reduced visibility.
Ylka Tapia Malalua, a digital producer, called it the worst sandstorm. She said it felt like “living on Mars.”
She posted a series of images: “Suffering the worst sandstorm from Sahara that we remember in the Canary Islands. It's like living on Mars 🏜️” (sic)
Spanish Transport Minister Jose Luis Abalos also tweeted about the sandstorm.
“The professionals of the sector do not remember such an adverse weather for air transport in the Canary Islands. It is working so that everything develops with maximum security,” his tweet from Spanish to English translated.
Suffering the worst sandstorm from Sahara that we remember in the Canary Islands. It's like living on Mars 🏜️— Ylka Tapia🌙Malalua (@malalua) February 23, 2020
Sufriendo la peor calima, procedente del Sáhara, que se recuerde en #Canarias. Es como vivir en Marte. #nofilter #CalimaCanarias #CanarySandstorm #CanaryDustStorm pic.twitter.com/SBWTEyuC7Z
Holidaymakers were also not pleased as it disrupted their travel plans. Passengers scheduled to fly had to make other arrangements with their airlines.
One of them was Greg Horsman. He told the Guardian that the experience was frustrating. He travelled with his girlfriend and friends on a Tui cruise and scheduled to leave for Manchester on Saturday evening.
“It’s frustrating. We’re just ready to be home,” he said. He told the publication that he wished there were contingency plans for when a weather event grounds flights.