NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Holiday flight departs after 38-hour delay

Thomson aircraft Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Thomson has apologised to passengers for the delay

A flight from Aberdeen to Faro in Portugal has finally arrived at its destination after take-off was delayed by more than 38 hours.

The 140 holidaymakers had been stranded at Aberdeen Airport since arriving on Thursday morning for what should have been the 06:00 flight.

The flight was delayed because of a technical issue with the aircraft.

There were also 114 stranded Thomson passengers in Portugal waiting for the return flight.

The flight from Aberdeen to Portugal did not depart until 20:43 on Friday evening, the airline said.

Those affected by the delay were put up in hotels overnight and given vouchers to buy refreshments.

Thomson said the Aberdeen to Faro flight had arrived at 23:40 local time.

Passengers flying from Portugal were diverted to Manchester and then taken to Aberdeen on a coach, arriving in the city at about 01:00 on Saturday.

Image copyright Bill Harrison/Geograph
Image caption In total, 245 passengers in Aberdeen and Faro were affected by the delay

"We would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused to customers who travelled on flights FPO811 from Aberdeen to Faro and FPO812 from Faro to Aberdeen, which unfortunately were delayed as a result of a technical issue," a spokeswoman for Thomson said.

"We provided affected customers with overnight accommodation and vouchers for refreshments. We also be providing letters to customers with EU flight delay claim information in line with the Civil Aviation Authority's guidelines.

"We understand how frustrating a flight delay can be and we would like to thank affected passengers for their patience and understanding."

Speaking earlier on Friday, Susan Davidson told BBC Scotland that she and the other passengers had been taken off the aircraft shortly before it had been due to depart Aberdeen on Thursday morning.

'Kept in dark'

"We were really given no information whatsoever and just left waiting in the airport," she said.

"Finally I think it must have been about 14:15 yesterday we were told we would be put up in a hotel and just to await further information from the company."

Mrs Davidson said passengers had been "pretty much kept in the dark" by the airline, with most of the information coming from the hotel she had been staying at.

She added: "The children are exhausted and desperate to get away. It has just been awful."

James Hepburn, who should also have been on the flight from Aberdeen on Thursday morning, described the delay as "horrific" and said he was "very, very angry".

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