Budget flyers left stranded by airlines

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The Independent Online

EasyJet was forced to ground 40 planes at British airports yesterday morning, while hundreds of holidaymakers were stranded in Europe after another budget airline, Duo, went into administration.

EasyJet was forced to ground 40 planes at British airports yesterday morning, while hundreds of holidaymakers were stranded in Europe after another budget airline, Duo, went into administration.

With grim weather across the country, it all made for a cheerless start to the May Day bank holiday weekend.

EasyJet blamed an administrative error for its problems, which affected flights at Luton, Stansted, Newcastle and Liverpool airports. Most of the planes were delayed for two hours because insurance documents had not been placed on the relevant aircraft. The error was discovered at about 6.30am.

A spokesman said: "There was basically an insurance documentation mess-up this morning whereby insurance renewal documents were not physically placed on the aircraft. Unlike with car insurance, the documents have to be physically placed on plane for inspection."

Hundreds of British tourists were stranded after the Birmingham-based budget airline Duo went into administration. All flights to and from Britain were cancelled, leaving passengers to find their own way home from destinations including Nice, Munich, Geneva and Olbia in Sardinia. The company was launched seven months ago.

A spokesman for Deloitte, the administrators, confirmed that Duo had ceased to trade and all flights had been cancelled. Passengers who have already booked tickets - including 250 people today - are unlikely to be protected.

The AA said roads around the UK would be busy for the rest of the bank holiday weekend. It also warned drivers that thunderstorms tomorrow, likely also to be the busiest day, would make driving conditions difficult. On the railways, engineering work being carried out today on the west coast mainline between Stafford and Crewe will add an hour to journeys.

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