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Featured Image Credit: Adam Wyczalkowski
The police were called after passengers on a flight to Tenerife were left 'abandoned' on the plane for three hours.
Swissport's TOM2106 flight to sunny Tenerife failed to take off from Manchester airport on Sunday evening, leaving hundreds of holidaymakers stranded on board the plane due to staff shortages.
After the flight was first hit by an initial delay, passengers were left stuck on the plane, which never left the tarmac – until 10pm when police arrived.
In one clip recorded by someone on board, the pilot was heard telling passengers: "Swissport have abandoned us."
Adam Wyczalkowski, 22, who was on board the flight hoping to enjoy a four-night getaway with his friends, spoke to the Manchester Evening News about the event.
Detailing how it all went wrong, Wyczalkowski said: "The flight was meant to leave at 5.50pm, but we were late getting on board in the first place which was around 7pm.
"We were told the bags would need to be loaded by Swissport, but then we heard they had only half loaded them onto the aircraft.
"We were then told all the staff had then disappeared, and the captain told us all that due to crew hour regulations, the flight might get cancelled in the end."
Speaking from the plane at the time, he continued: "Eventually they made another announcement that there had been no communication about us getting off the plane because there were no staff available to let us off. There are so many kids on here and families excited go away for half-term.
"People are just getting so frustrated and angry. It is so hot and there is no air con on and we were only offered a complimentary drink. There was not a single member of staff in sight, so the captain informed us they will be calling the police in order to let us disembark."
Passengers at Manchester airport have been experiencing extreme delays to their flights, lost baggage, and last-minute cancellations after hours of queuing for their May half-term holidays.
The airport has blamed staff shortages, as well as a spike in demand for travel on the recent chaos.
When approached for a comment, Swissport told Tyla: "We know that people are really excited to go on holiday again after long periods without flying during the pandemic.
"We’re really sorry about the experience these passengers had on this flight and we’re looking into the specific circumstances to understand what went wrong.
"The post-pandemic return in travel demand is positive news but the current peak travel period is exacerbating resource challenges across the recovering aviation industry.
"We are working hard to address our resource challenges and have hired 2,800 new colleagues since the start of the year. We will continue to work with our partners to find solutions for this industry-wide issue."