Hundreds of tourist who had booked their holidays on the island of Rhodes found themselves on the islands of Kos and Crete and even in Turkey, due to a operational problem in the airport “Diagoras” last Sunday and Monday (July 29 and 30 2018). The electronic systems of the airport reportedly failed, the airplanes had to be diverted to airports else where. even outside Greece. Fraport that manages the airport attributes the problem to a failure to a third party provider. The airport of Rhodes is one of the 14 Greek airports that were privatized last year and are being operated by German consortium Fraport.
“All tourists arrived on Rhodes yesterday,” writes local newspaper dimokratiki on August 2nd.
According to its report, a total of seven charter flights landed at Dalaman airport in Turkey and another six on Kos and Crete.
The airplanes were flying in circles above Rhodes for more than one hour Airplanes for more than an hour and were not allowed to land as there was no free parking place. the newspaper notes adding that it was necessary they are being diverted to neighboring airports.
Tour operators reportedly took care of the tourists’ accommodation in Turkey, Crete and Kos as well as for their transportation by sea and air to Rhodes.
However, some airplanes returned to their bases with the passengers on board and it is not known whether the flights returned to the island even if on a delayed schedule, dimokrati notes.
“The unprecedented problem at the airport caused a great deal of disruption to the airline’s flight program, but it also resulted in the great discomfort of the visitors and the defamation of the island.” the newspaper stresses.
Although the situation at Diagoras airport normalized Monday afternoon, there are concerns expressed by those in the tourism industry who wonder if the electronic systems of Fraport will withheld or whether similar problems could take place again at the peak of airport traffic in August.
Citing Fraport executives, Dimokratiki writes that airport managing company attributes the whole problem to a third party provider, an international trustworthy operator that on its part cooperates with a telecommunications company.
The problem occurred due to a failure in the data center, making the electronic check=in impossible. It was done manually resulting in long delays in arrivals and departures.
“Fraport’s priority is to look at what exactly went wrong, why the back-up system did not work and to decide whether it will continue the cooperation with the provider or require ‘safeguards’ to avoid similar problems in the future,” dimokratiki newspaper of Rhodes concludes its report.