LONDON – Hundreds of flights have been cancelled from most airports due to the heavy rains brought to the Canary Islands by tropical storm Hermine from over the Atlantic. The information was provided by Aena, the company that manages airports in Spain. Most of the cancellations affected two airports in Tenerife.
Residents of the Canary Islands and visiting tourists are still struggling with the effects of post-tropical cyclone Hermine. As a result of the elemental attack, carrying downpours, landslide boulders fell on cars and also damaged houses.
Although the phenomenon has weakened, weather alerts remain in effect in many parts of the archipelago. The situation at airports is already normalizing, and no more flight cancellations were reported on September 28.
A lot of travellers still remain on the islands. That’s why few airlines organising ‘rescue flights’ to address the backlog of cancelled trips.
The Canary Islands are one of Spain’s top tourist destinations. According to the region’s autonomous government, a total of more than 1.2 million people arrived in the Atlantic archipelago by airlines in July. Most of them were British – 462,000.
Tropical Storm Hermine
A tropical wave being was monitored by the NHC on September 22 and emerged off the coast of West Africa into the tropical Atlantic east of Cabo Verde. It quickly organized, becoming Tropical Depression and then strengthened into Tropical Storm Hermine six hours later.
It is one of few tropical cyclones on record (going back to 1851) to form this far east and to track between the Cabo Verde Islands and the coast of Africa. Development beyond a weak tropical storm was stymied by southwesterly shear, as it moved northward.
Hermine brought heavy rainfall to the Canary Islands, causing localized flooding and downed trees. Almost 900 flights were cancelled across the archipelago.
Nearly 900 flights cancelled
Exactly 890 flights have been cancelled since last Saturday, and 109 have been diverted to other airports. The first cancellations began on September 24. At that time, 79 flights were cancelled and 36 were diverted.
The worst day for passengers was Sunday, September 25, when 550 flights were cancelled on that day, and 52 were rerouted to other airports. Monday (September 26) brought a slight improvement in the weather, but still, 241 flights were cancelled and 21 were rerouted to safer destinations.
End of the Hermine storm
After three days of torrential rain and flooding, the extreme weather has finally calmed down. The weather has improved, and flights have restarted. All islands have been downgraded to a ‘green’ level of risk by the Spanish meteorological authorities.
Arrivals and departure trackers for Tenerife North Airport and Tenerife South airport show normal service, as well as on the other Canary Islands airports.
Can I claim compensation in this case?
In general, in the case of cancelled flights, passengers can claim compensation from the air carriers.
However, in the event of difficulties such as tropical storms, storms, hurricanes, etc., weather events, the airline has the right not to pay compensation for delays and cancellations of flights. It refers to events that are neither caused by nor preventable by humans.
But airlines should still provide passengers assistance like accommodation or rebooking or changing the ticket to an alternative route if the flight was affected by the weather.