EIBTM charters Thomas Cook flight to get hosted buyers back to UK

EIBTM has arranged for a Thomas Cook flight with 235 seats to fly hosted buyers suffering cancelled journeys back to the UK as Gatwick Airport remains closed due to snowy conditions.

EIBTM´s Graeme Barnett is working closely with BCD M&I
EIBTM´s Graeme Barnett is working closely with BCD M&I

EIBTM´s team of 12 has been working closely with its appointed travel agent BCD Meetings and Incentives, and local agent Ultramar to ensure its hosted buyers can get home.

Gatwick Airport announced this morning that it will remain closed until at least 6am tomorrow (3 December) because of heavy snow.

"There will be no flights arriving or departing today, and passengers can expect further disruption, delays and cancellations as long as the severe weather continues," stated Gatwick Airport. "Passengers should not travel to the airport today, those scheduled to fly tomorrow should check with their airline before travelling to the airport."

A charter flight due to bring 120 hosted buyers to EIBTM in Barcelona from Gatwick yesterday was cancelled.

However, EIBTM exhibition director Graeme Barnett said a Thomas Cook Boeing 757 plane, capable of holding 235 passengers, will fly from Birmingham to Barcelona, where it will be available to take hosted buyers back to the UK later today.

"We can tell those hosted buyers still out here, who have been provided with an additional night, that we will get them back to the closest point to London we can," said Barnett.

"We will also be able to provide a number of seats to exhibitors back into the UK. We are doing all we can and are in constant contact with BCD M&I. They are in touch with the airlines; we have got the best resourced operation to deal with this issue."

Barnett added that each of the 120 hosted buyers that could not make it to the show would be contacted personally, with EIBTM facilitating meetings that had been missed. Content from the show would also be available on EIBTM TV for viewing online.

Meanwhile, UK event agencies prepared for disruption to their schedules as the bad weather continues.

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