THOUSANDS of Brits are stranded abroad after Morocco banned flights back to the UK.
Desperate holidaymakers are facing chaos at airports after they were turned away from check in desks and forced to find a new route home.
Chloe and Lucy at the Hotel Riu Palace Tikida Taghazout.Credit: Evening Gazette
All UK flights to and from Morocco have been cancelledCredit: Getty
Family plans for half-term holidays to the popular winter sun haven have been plunged into disarray.
The ban has sparked speculation about whether other holiday destinations will also cancel flights from Britain.
One British couple on holiday at a luxury resort were nearing the end of their two week break when the Moroccan government axed flights.
Chloe Cervone, 24, and Lucy Ross, 29, are unsure when they will be able to return and may have to pay to extend their stay.
Chloe, who runs Flows Flavours Ice Cream in Whitby, Yorks, told The Sun: “Nobody seems to know what’s going on, we were supposed to fly back on Thursday night and we found out the flight was cancelled when we got to Agadir airport.
“Our reps don’t seem to very confident on exactly when we will get back, they’ve told us not to bother checking out when we next go to the airport just in case we have to come back.”
Chloe added: “While our resort is gorgeous, it would be nice to get home at some point.”
RyanAir and EasyJet have come under fire from tourists who say they were not told flights were cancelled until they arrived at the airport.
Daryl Lamb, 38, and his stepdad Mal Cleveland, 55, have stumped up £500 to get back to Manchester from Marrakech.
Their original EasyJet return flights for a five day trip with cost just £272.
On Saturday they will face a gruelling 13 hour journey to Casablanca and onto Barcelona before finally landing at Manchester Airport.
Children’s home worker Daryl told The Sun: “It’s absolute chaos at the airport. None of the staff know what’s going on and the check in desks are either empty or won’t talk to us.
“People have been properly kicking off at the airport, everyone is furious.
“We spoke to people who don’t have any money to re-book flights so they don’t know what they will do.
“I’m going to miss a day at work because of the flight ban.
“The journey means we have to change planes twice and we won’t get back to Manchester Airport until 2am on Monday.
“It was only supposed to be a five day break, but the nightmare coming home has ruined it completely.”
EasyJet say they are organising planes to get stranded customers home following negotiations with Moroccan authorities.
They say customers have been notified about available flights become available.
Meanwhile RyanAir offered some customers a flight voucher or refund.
Flights to and from the UK were stopped on Thursday due to Britain’s soaring Covid-19 cases.
Air travel between the Netherlands and Germany was also banned.
Morocco’s National Office of Airports said the restrictions will remain in place “until further notice”.
A group of 23 women who were trekking in the Atlas mountains are among those stuck in Morocco.
Jodie Salt, founder of Ladies Life Lounge who organised the trip told The Times: “A lot of our group are mums with young children who have commitments and want to get back to see their family.
“We just want a straight answer, even if that means we have to go home a little bit later.
“It would be useful for somebody to communicate with us.”
Roughly 6,500 passengers board some 50 flights to Moroccan airports from London every week.
A RyanAir spokesman said: “Ryanair fully complies with Govt travel restrictions.
“Following the Moroccan Govt’s decision to impose a travel ban on flights from the UK, Germany and Netherlands without prior notice, Ryanair has been forced to process several cancellations.
“Customers have been notified by email/text message and informed of their options including a free move, flight voucher or refund.”
EasyJet said: “We have worked with the authorities to get this urgently resolved and have now confirmed we can operate all scheduled flights over the coming days.
“Any affected customers have been able to transfer their flights free of charge. “While this was outside of our control, we are very sorry for the inconvenience customers will have experienced and thank them for their patience and understanding.”
EasyJet are one of several airlines struggling to get customers home.Credit: Alamy
Eight airports across Morocco fly to Britain including Casablanca, Marrakesh, Fez and TangierCredit: Getty
Marrakesh Menara AirportCredit: Getty