Monday, April 19, 2010

Container Ships Offer Alternative Way Home For Stranded Air Passengers

But Places Filling Fast
Shipping News Feature

WORLDWIDE – With disruption continuing in the airspace above Europe people are increasingly looking for ways to get to their destinations. And one method which is rapidly being utilised is passage on commercial vessels and container ships.

Kevin Griffin, the managing director of The Cruise People Ltd., an agency that specialises in booking on shipping, said that they had been inundated with requests for sailings.

“On the trans-Atlantic routes, the cruise ships from Florida to Europe are fully booked. There are still some berths available from Barbados, as well as a limited number of berths on container ships, but we expect those to fill by the end of the day.”

And the problem is worse for those seeking to return from Europe to the States. “It’s almost impossible,” said Griffin.

“The Queen Mary II is booked solid for the next two trips. All we have are a few spaces in steel carriers.”

Griffin added that: “This is a truly global problem. We’re getting bookings for South Africa, Asia and Australia.”

In additional news the UK government has announced that they are to use the Royal Navy to repatriate UK citizens from Spain, with coaches to be provided at Madrid to bring people to the port of Santander for embarkation.

The airlines hopes to resume flying may also have been dashed by a report from NATO that several fighter jets have had to make emergency landings due to engine damage from ash ingestion.