A stranded couple say they are hopeful they might soon be home after the UK Government pledged £75 million to help bring back Brits stuck abroad.
Last week The Tele revealed Broughty Ferry couple Marion and William King have been attempting to return from their holiday home in Benalmadena, Spain, where they have been staying since January, but have had five flights cancelled.
The situation is all the more worrying as William, 81, has prostate cancer and relies on dwindling medication to help with ongoing health problems as a result of a brain tumour and having half a lung removed in recent years.
The couple had been due to fly home on April 4 with easyJet, however found out on Friday that their flight had been cancelled.
After re-booking with the company for April 11, they woke to the news today that the airline had grounded all their aircraft.
Just hours after easyJet made the announcement, the government launched a new partnership with airlines to fly stranded tourists home.
Marion, 76, said: “It looks a bit more promising. Now at least they are admitting there are a lot of people stranded.”
Before the announcement Marion spoke about how depressed the couple were feeling about their situation.
She said: “I am feeling a bit down with the news that easyJet’s flights have all been grounded.
“We have had no contact from the airline. I’m getting more depressed by the day, my husband is now very down about it.
“The thought that we might be left here for another couple of months upsets me so much. It would be unbearable.”
Although the couple have managed to find some of William’s essential medicines, they will soon run out of some of his other tablets.
This, along with the fact he has scans booked in Dundee, has made the couple even more anxious to get home.
Marion added: “We are desperate to come home.”
A spokesman from easyJet said: “Where we have been required to cancel flights as a result of travel restrictions, we have been committed to getting customers home as quickly as possible and so we have worked hard to operate a programme of over 650 rescue flights so far, bringing over 45,000 customers home since travel restrictions have been implemented.
“We are continuing to work with government bodies and we may be operating additional rescue flights, as they are requested.
“We are sorry that the couple did not book onto any of these flights as they included services from Malaga to the UK this weekend. Unfortunately the couple were not contacted because they had transferred to a flight operating due to operate on 11th April.
“We are continuing to assess where we might still have customers who have been impacted by these restrictions and we advise anyone who did not book on to the available rescue flights and wants to travel at this time contacts their local embassy for further guidance.”
Dundee City East MSP Shona Robison said: “This will be a very worrying time for William and Marion and their family.
“There have been a number of Scots who have found themselves stranded abroad with few or no flights back home. It’s important that the Uk Government do everything in their power to help bring people like Marion and William home.
“We are pushing the UK Government to act in these cases and help organise flights to bring citizens home as soon as possible “