Holidaymakers arrive in Corfu after 39-hour delay

Airplane Image copyright Small Planet
Image caption Passengers waited more than 39 hours to go on holiday

Holidaymakers delayed for more than 39 hours at Manchester Airport have finally arrived in Corfu.

More than 100 passengers were due to fly at 11:00 BST on Monday, but were told their flight was going to be late due to a "technical fault".

The flight, operated by Lithuanian airline Small Planet, was delayed several more times and eventually left at about 02:00 on Wednesday.

Small Planet apologised on Facebook for "all the inconveniences".

'Lack of information'

Paul Kenny, who booked the flight through tour operator Olympic Holidays, is among passengers who have now arrived at Corfu.

He said: "At first it was just the usual delay, we had been called to the departure gate. It was saying 'wait a couple more hours' - then two more hours before any more information.

Image caption Passengers were taken to hotels on a couple of occasions

"I think what people got angry about was there was never any detail. There was contradictory information on Twitter," Mr Kenny said.

"We stood around very patiently for long periods of time [on Tuesday] and there were raised voices at times, particularly yesterday morning. Bearing in mind we had been going 20 hours by then."

Image copyright Facebook

Mr Kenny said he and his family were determined to "make the most" of the remaining time left of their holiday.

"People just want to be sitting by the pool with a cold beer in their hands," he added. "Most families on this flight are only here for a week and this is the morning of our third day."

Compensation claims

In a statement Small Planet apologised for passengers' inconvenience and stress and said this was "one of the most difficult technical situations we've experienced in some time".

The hydraulic system needed immediate repair, it said, adding: "flight safety is an absolute and foremost priority".

The firm "actively" looked for a replacement aircraft but no options were available until Wednesday, it said.

The statement added: "We made every effort to take care of [passengers] by organising welfare as well as hotels with meals and transportation so that they could wait for their flights as comfortably as possible."

Passengers can apply for compensation, according to EU261 rules, on the Small Planet website, a spokesperson added.

On arrival in Corfu, the delayed passengers were handed leaflets explaining how they could claim compensation, Mr Kenny said.

He added: "We have lost almost a third of our holiday, so a big chunk of it. We'll make the most of the holiday we have left and then I'll pick up the paperwork and the arguments when we get back."

Manchester Airport confirmed the delay was the longest passengers have had to endure there.

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