Manchester

Airblue Manchester to Islamabad flight delayed for two days

More than 300 passengers were delayed for more than two days after an aeroplane due to fly from Manchester to Pakistan developed a fault.

The Air blue flight to Islamabad was due to fly on Friday night, but it did not depart until 01:00 BST on Monday.

Many passengers spent Saturday night in the airport rather than travel to the accommodation offered by the airline about 80 miles away in Birmingham.

Airblue said it tried to give passengers "every compensation".

The plane was originally due to depart at 21:50 on Friday. It was rescheduled for 15:00 on Sunday but it was subject to a further delay and passengers did not board the rearranged flight until Sunday evening.

'Not treated like humans'

A spokesman for the private Pakistani airline said passengers were offered the nearest hotels able to accommodate such large numbers on a Saturday night.

Huma Altaf, from Manchester, who was travelling with her 11-year-old daughter Maryam, said they spent the night on benches without blankets in a cold area of the airport.

She said: "We have not been treated like humans.

"At 11pm we were told we could get on a coach to a hotel in Birmingham, but by the time we got there we would have only got a few hours' sleep before having to travel back, and many felt the coach journey would be more unsettling for children so we stayed at the airport.

"We were offered only chips and beans for two nights and by the time I got to the end of the queue they had run out. I felt like a beggar trying to get anything.

"We're travelling to spend my daughter's first Eid with her grandparents and she was so looking forward to it. Now our families are anxiously waiting for us."

Another passenger, who gave his name as Javed, said: "I see 300 people, many with children, in tears. People are exhausted mentally and physically, people are making expensive calls to Pakistan families.

"I'm seeing people that can't keep their fast, I'm seeing people who have no access to food when it comes to opening the fast."

Manchester Airport said it had assisted the airline during the delays.

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