The next Jet2 flight off the wildfire-plagued Greek Island of Rhodes to Belfast will leave tomorrow (Tuesday) night.
The company has this morning (Monday) announced that flights and holidays to Rhodes have also been cancelled up to and including July 30 so as not to put any more pressure on the island.
However, hundreds of NI tourists have been stranded on the island.
Tui has cancelled all flights to the island until Wednesday, with passengers offered a “fee free amend to another holiday or the option to cancel for a full refund”.
While EasyJet have cancelled package holidays until Wednesday, their flights to Rhodes were operating as normal. The company is however planning two repatriation flights from Rhodes to the UK today and another tomorrow.
Ryanair flights have been unaffected by the wildfires and are still operational.
A spokesperson for Jet2 said: “Yesterday, we cancelled all flights and holidays due to depart to Rhodes up to and including Sunday 30th July, to give customers assurance and to avoid putting further pressure on the island’s infrastructure. We have contacted affected customers with regards to their refund and rebooking options and if they wish to receive a refund, we will process this quickly.
“We will still fly those aircraft to Rhodes, but with no customers onboard, so that we can continue to bring our customers back to the UK on their scheduled flights, as well as any additional Jet2 customers who wish to return to the UK.
“Our first repatriation landed from Rhodes into Leeds Bradford late on Sunday evening, carrying 95 Jet2.com and Jet2holidays customers back to the UK. Customers were also provided with onward ground transportation.
“We have significantly increased our presence on the island too, with experienced colleagues arriving from other destinations, as well as a dedicated senior team flying from the UK to Rhodes yesterday. These colleagues are there to look after our customers in evacuation centres, in resorts, and at Rhodes Airport. We also have staffed transfer coaches taking customers to the airport from evacuation centres today.
A spokesperson for Jet2.com and Jet2holidays said: “We understand how difficult this experience has been for many, and our entire focus is on looking after our customers. We have a significantly expanded presence in Rhodes, with a huge team of experienced colleagues providing all the support we can for our customers, whether that is in affected areas or at Rhodes Airport.
“We have also put on three repatriation flights to bring our customers home, which is on top of our scheduled programme of flights that will continue to operate from Rhodes to the UK this week. We are continuing to make decisions in the best interests of our customers, and we are keeping everything under constant review.”
Meanwhile, Corfu and Evia have become the latest Greek islands to issue evacuation orders.
Greece has been grappling with soaring temperatures, exceeding 40 degrees across the country.