Sandstorm Shuts Down Airports, Leaves Passengers Stranded

A sandstorm in Spain has shut down the aviation industry in the area, causing departing flights to be canceled and rerouting journeys scheduled to arrive in the Canary Islands.

According to The Sun, several airports located in the Canary Islands chain have been forced to shut down operations temporarily as a large dust cloud from the Sahara moved into the area, turning the sky orange.

All outbound flights from Tenerife’s North and South airports have been grounded due to the sandstorm and Gran Canaria Airport has suspended all arrivals and departures until conditions improved.

Images and videos from the area have been shared on social media:

Aeropuerto de #Tenerife Sur hace unos minutos…

Gran Canaria airport closed @jet2tweets a few questions to answer why did you bring us here? How long before we leave? Where are we staying tonight? Not easy but some answers would help #Sandstorm

The Canary Islands have been engulfed by an ‘apocalyptic’ sandstorm carrying clouds of red dust from the Sahara.

Officials have declared a state of alert and advised people to stay indoors.

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Local meteorologists described airport operations at Gran Canaria as “paralyzed.”

In total, over 250 flights were impacted by the massive dust cloud on Sunday, with delays and cancelations carrying into Monday, according to As a result, hundreds of passengers on vacation in the Canary Islands have been stranded until flight operations resume.

The issues in Spain come as the aviation industry is feeling the impact of the coronavirus, as a new study from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) suggests 2020 will see the first drop in air travel in over a decade due to the ongoing viral outbreak.

IATA officials revealed demand for flights has dropped as a result of the fears associated with coronavirus, which could cost the airline industry as much as $29.3 billion in lost revenue this year.

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