With thousands of travellers still stranded by the travel chaos caused by the volcanic ash cloud and scrambling to get home, flight site Skyscanner has seen a leap in flight searches to and from the European airports surrounding the periphery of the worst affected areas.
There has been a 3000%* jump in searches for Stavanger airport, while Madrid airport saw figures rise by 1800%. The number of people searching for flights from Faro airport has risen by almost 800% while Lisbon airport has seen an increase of almost 600%.
Commenting on the chaos, Skyscanner CEO Gareth Williams said, “Although the flight disruption is of course affecting those due to go on holiday, the fall out is worse for those holidaymakers and businesspeople still overseas. We believe there are at least 150,000 British travellers marooned abroad.
“Our figures indicate that the majority of those stranded are in the Canaries, the Costas and Portugal, although there will also be a lot of travellers stranded further afield in Thailand, Florida, Dubai and New York.”
While many British travellers have resigned themselves to making lengthy detours in order to get home, 31% of travellers believe that UK airports should be opened now. Over 300 people voted in a poll on the Skyscanner site this morning (19th April) in the wake of news that several European airlines have flown successful test flights through part of the volcanic ash cloud. While the majority of travellers would rather wait for the all clear from air traffic control, many would still fly if the airlines believe it is safe.
Even Skyscanner CEO Gareth William’s own family have been caught up in the volcano chaos:
“My heart goes out to all those stranded. My wife and children were due to return from Geneva last Thursday but are still there. We’ve been looking at trains and ferry options to get them home, but at the moment, it’s looking like we won’t be reunited until the 28thApril – 11 days later than expected!”