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17 hour delay for Air Scotland Glasgow airport bound passengers

16.10.05

More than two hundred Scottish holidaymakers heading back to Glasgow airport from Spain were stranded for 17 hours in Palma, Majorca yesterday after Spanish authorities impounded crisis-hit airline Air Scotland's plane.

Tempers flared after the airline failed to buy fuel for one aircraft then had another impounded. Palma Airport officials called in armed police to calm the furious crowd. The holidaymakers' ordeal only ended when the Palma Airport Authority bailed out the airline.

The problems started three days ago, when Air Scotland's credit cards were refused at Edinburgh Airport as they tried to buy fuel. A second plane was then impounded at Glasgow airport on Friday over a landing fees wrangle. Then yesterday one of the airlines planes were impounded again, this time at Palma airport.

The delayed holidaymakers were taken to an airport hotel at 03:00 on Saturday morning after they were told their flight couldn't take off. But they were bussed back to the airport a few hours later, where they had to wait another 10 hours. Their flight eventually took off around 15:00 yesterday.

One angry passenger said: 'The Airport Authority paid Air Scotland's bill to let us get out of here. It was a shambles. I've flown a lot and have never seen anything like it.' Another complained: 'The Air Scotland staff were dreadful. No one seemed to know what was going on or paid us any attention.'

Hundreds of Scots at Glasgow airport yesterday feared their holidays would not go ahead due to the chaos. They faced delays of more than 12 hours waiting for the Palma flight, only to be told it may not return to Spain.

No one from Air Scotland - the trading name of Greece Airways, which was recently sold to a Spanish firm - was available for comment yesterday.

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