herald

Thursday 8 December 2016

Flights suspended as families prepare to bury terror victors

Laurence and Martina Hayes, from the town of Athlone in Co Westmeath, who died in the terror attack in Sousse, Tunisia (Irish Independent/PA)
Laurence and Martina Hayes, from the town of Athlone in Co Westmeath, who died in the terror attack in Sousse, Tunisia (Irish Independent/PA)

TWO Irish tour operators have cancelled all flights to Tunisia in the wake of the terror attacks there.

Sunway Holidays has suspended their weekly flight schedule to Monastir from tomorrow.

The company said weekly flights to Monastir have been suspended until the situation in Tunisia has been “clarified”. However, tomorrow’s return flight from Monastir to Dublin will go ahead.

Speaking to the Herald, Martin Skelly, president of the Irish Travel Agents Association, said tour operator Just Sunshine has also suspended services to the country from tomorrow.

“Sunway and Just Sunshine shared the aircraft. While those that travelled to Tunisia last weekend will be brought home, they won’t be bringing out any new holidaymakers from Ireland.

“The companies want to see how the security situation

develops, but it’s also a commercial decision,” Mr Skelly said.

“It seems more people have cancelled their holidays since the attack than have decided to travel. It’s hard to imagine the companies will reinstate the flights this summer.

“Consequently, there will be zero Irish holidaymakers travelling to the country this summer on direct services from Ireland,” he added.

Sunway customers who have booked a trip with the company to Tunisia are being offered an alternative holiday or a full refund.

The company said if the cost of the holiday is higher than the amount originally paid, the additional cost will be incurred by the customer. If the price is lower, Sunway will refund the difference.

The announcement comes as Irish victims of the Tunisian terror attack will be laid to rest tomorrow.

Martina and Laurence Hayes, from Westlodge, Athlone, will repose at Flynn’s Funeral Home, The Strand, from 2pm today, before their removal to the Church of Saint Peter and Paul.

A Requiem Mass will be held at 11am tomorrow, followed by burial afterwards in Coosan Cemetery. The couple are survived by their only daughter, Sinead.

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