Skiathos flights cancelled for seven days amid ‘biblical’ weather

An airline has cancelled all flights to Skiathos for the next week as the Greek island continues to experience “biblical” weather.

Jet2 said all flights and holidays on the island up to and including Tuesday September 12 have been cancelled.

The airline said the move would provide certainty for customers and was the “right thing to do in terms of allowing the island and its population to quickly return to normal following this week’s events”.

Tui, which also flies to Skiathos, said it was “actively monitoring the weather forecast” ahead of its next scheduled flight there on Friday.

Woman and man on the beach
Lucy and Alex Hamilton are in Skiathos (Alex Hamilton/PA)

A British man stuck in Skiathos told the PA news agency that flooding on the island has been “absolutely bonkers” and created an “absolute mess” for locals and tourists alike.

Alex Hamilton, head of corporate development for a large company, arrived around two weeks ago and has been staying in Skiathos Premier Hotel with his wife, Lucy, who is 46 and a beautician.

His son, Matthew, and his son’s girlfriend, Grace, arrived around a week ago and have been staying in a separate hotel – called La Luna – about a mile away.

Storm Daniel has been causing severe flooding across the region, with streams overflowing their banks and water sweeping cars into the sea.

Mr Hamilton, 50, from Northampton, said the streets have been flooded due to heavy rain on Tuesday, which he described as being “biblical”.

Flooded road
A flooded road outside Mr Hamilton’s hotel (Alex Hamilton/PA)

“The problem is that the whole of the island is just one big mountain in the middle and the sheer amount of rain that came down over 18 hours ran straight down into the habitable areas, which is where we’re staying and flooded everything”, he said.

“The water running down the streets is biblical, it’s absolutely bonkers and the thunder and lightning were insane.

“I’ve never seen anything like it and we’ve been plenty of times before and seen rain, the locals have seen nothing like this in 30-odd years.”

Mr Hamilton, who has been to Skiathos four times, added: “I would not have come here for a holiday if I knew what was going on.”

He said that his hotel is situated on a hill, so he is “quite safe”, but his son and girlfriend have no power and there are other issues across Skiathos.

“Shops are running out of food, there are power cuts, the beaches are ruined – pretty dramatic stuff,” he said.

“Loads of things have been destroyed, the town centre is just an absolute mess – it’s absolute carnage.”

He has been out on a quad bike to buy food and has been keeping receipts to hopefully claim back expenses, and he said the hotel has been very accommodating.

Mr Hamilton said he was meant to travel back home on Thursday but is not sure if that will be a possible.

“We’ve been told the flights in from the UK have been cancelled today or leaving the island, so everybody’s just staying in their accommodation, which isn’t too much of a problem because if people aren’t coming in, hotels aren’t moving people out”, he said.

He said that his travel company is Jet2, while his son is with Tui, but neither reps knew what was happening with flights, which he found “concerning”.

“We are not going to get any more notice until tomorrow morning about whether we’re leaving the island or not and I needed to get home tomorrow ideally for work,” he added.

He said that his workplace has been “brilliant” in accommodating for his being stuck in Skiathos, and he can work remotely from the island.

He added that he has been getting alerts on his phone about the weather, with another storm expected on Wednesday afternoon.

Air traffic control system fault
Mr Hamilton said that he is unsure when he can fly back home (Liam McBurney/PA)

In a statement, Jet2 said: “We are continuing to closely monitor the situation on the island and have been in touch with customers in resort by SMS to advise them of the situation, and to ask them to follow the advice of the local authorities as well as their hoteliers.

“In addition, our in-resort teams are working tirelessly to look after customers despite infrastructure challenges caused by the weather.

“We will ensure that we fly all of our customers home once conditions allow.”

A Tui spokesperson said: “We have made the difficult decision to cancel our flights on the 5th and 6th of September.

“Customers due to travel on these flights are able to amend their holiday for free with a 10% rebooking incentive or receive a full refund if they no longer wish to travel. We will be contacting these customers to discuss their options.

“We are actively monitoring the weather forecast for coming days and will be in direct contact with a travel update as soon as possible.”

The UK Foreign Office updated its advice for Greece to reflect the conditions on Tuesday.

It said: “Adverse weather conditions, including floods, are affecting some regions. The situation can change quickly.”