EMERGENCY flights have been thrown on to get tourists home to Spain from the Portuguese island of Madeira after storms led to planes being cancelled and holidaymakers stranded.
Regional carrier Air Nostrum – the Iberia arm which operates internal flights – said three extra trips in either direction would be run between Madrid and Funchal, 'weather permitting'.
Passengers who originally flew from other airports in Spain will be taken on to these via connecting flights.
It is believed some of the tourists are already home.
They were stuck at Funchal airport in the first half of this week after hurricanes battering Madeira made flying unsafe.
With over 60 flights cancelled, some 15,000 travellers needed emergency hotel accommodation, which has been proving very difficult since Madeira is full to capacity with its usual hordes of summer tourists.
Among the 15,000 were 54 from Bilbao who were put up in hotels, but after two nights, were ordered to leave as 'other guests had booked'.
They say their tour operators had not contacted the hotels to make any other arrangements, and even once the holidaymakers got in touch with the agencies themselves, they were only booked in for one or two nights at a time in other resorts – despite not knowing how long it would be before they could fly home.