Flights cancelled as British tourists caught up in ‘horrendous’ floods on Skiathos

Tourists caught up in floods on Skiathos
By Lisa James
06/09/2023
Home » Flights cancelled as British tourists caught up in ‘horrendous’ floods on Skiathos

British holidaymakers have been caught up in widespread flooding on the Greek island of Skiathos, with Jet2 and TUI cancelling flights.

Police have ordered all residents and tourists to stay off the streets and the island’s mayor has put in a request to declare a state of emergency, according to local reports.

By the end of Wednesday (6 September), the region is expected to have been hit by up to 700mm of rain.

One holidaymaker took to Twitter/X to describe the situation as ‘absolute carnage’, adding: ’18 hours of torrential rain, thunder and lightning. Flooded hotels and the airport is closed to flights. Bonkers’.

Another tweeter described the situation as ‘horrendously scary’.

One tourist told the Mail: “Food supplies are running out at the hotel. No more can be supplied because the road by our hotel has collapsed.”

And one holidaymaker posted on Twitter/X to say some people at her hotel, the Skiathos Palace, Koukounaries, ‘have been asked to check out of their rooms’.

“This is a serious storm. Flooding in our hotel corridors, ceilings, power cuts, and we’re lucky as we’re up high,” she said.

Ferries to and from the island have been halted.

The city of Volos and the Mount Pelion area on the Greek mainland have also been affected by the severe weather.

Sunvil Managing Director Chris Wright told Travel Gossip on Tuesday evening: “The storms across the Pelion (Volos) and Skiathos have been pretty severe over the last 24 hours.  

“No flights have landed into Skiathos today, today’s arrivals were initially delayed until tomorrow but, with the storm predicted to carry on through at least the morning tomorrow, it looks likely that at least tomorrow morning’s flights will be delayed again. 

“As the storm water flows down from the hills towards the coast many roads have been blocked and the authorities are advising everyone to stay indoors and avoid moving. 

“We are in contact with all of our guests and local offices to ensure they are looked after as best as possible in the situation. 

“We have taken the decision to cancel our arrivals into the Pelion (Volos) tomorrow (Wednesday).  

“Even though the flight isn’t due to land until after the storm has passed, and our guests are keen to travel, we don’t want to add more strain onto the team on the ground until we can assess the situation and ensure those guests currently in situ are looked after.

“As we have seen during similar storms in recent years, once the storms have passed the local authorities are quick to repair infrastructure and return resorts normal. We will keep a close eye on things but hope to resume normal operations as soon as possible.”

Jet2 confirmed to Travel Gossip that it has cancelled flights.

TUI replied to a customer on Twitter/X at around 19.15hrs on Tuesday to say: “We’re aware that Skiathos is experiencing heavy rainfall.

“Due to this we’ve taken the difficult decision today to cancel our flights departing today and delay overnight those flights departing 6th September. We’ll be in touch directly if anything changes.”

Jet2 confirmed in an update on Wednesday morning that it had cancelled four flights to Skiathos today, even though the airport reopened this morning. The flights were due to leave from Birmingham, Manchester, London Stansted and Leeds Bradford. A flight to Skiathos that was diverted to Thessaloniki on Monday will repatriate passengers to the UK today.

Jet2 told Travel Gossip: “We are aware of the weather conditions affecting Skiathos, and we are closely monitoring the situation with our customers’ best interests in mind.

“We are contacting all affected customers and they will of course receive a full refund.

“We are continuing to closely monitor the situation on the island and have been in touch with customers in resort by SMS to advise them of the situation, and to ask them to follow the advice of the local authorities as well as their hoteliers.

“In addition, our in-resort teams are working tirelessly to look after customers despite infrastructure challenges caused by the weather. We will ensure that we fly all of our customers home once conditions allow.

We recognise that this is an extremely difficult and unpleasant experience for our customers, and we of course are extremely sorry to hear this.

“Although extraordinary events such as these are completely outside of our control, our absolute focus is on doing everything we can to look after everyone.”

In a statement, TUI said: “We are working to get customers safely back home to the UK, and will contact them directly with flight details once they are confirmed.

“For those due to travel, we are actively monitoring the weather forecast and will be in direct contact with a travel update as soon as possible.”

TUI customers who were due to travel to Skiathos on 5 or 6 September are being offered a free amend with a 10% rebooking incentive, or a full refund.

The UK Foreign Office issued an update for Greece on Wednesday evening to say: “Adverse weather conditions, including floods, are affecting some regions.  The situation can change quickly. Follow “112 Greece” on Twitter for official updates.”

In an update on Wednesday morning, residents living in the mainland towns Sofiada and Petrilia were urged to evacuate as the flooding continued.

Picture credit: Greek weather service Meteo.gr on Twitter/X

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