Specialist School Tour Operators, Halsbury Travel have been working throughout the weekend to make arrangements to get their groups, who have found themselves stranded, back to the UK. Halsbury staff have hired extra UK and Continental coaches and made ferry crossing arrangements for many groups of their own and other schools who have found themselves stranded.
Keith Sharkey, Managing Director for Halsbury Travel stated: “when we began to receive the reports about the clouds of volcanic ash and the closure of airports on Thursday and Friday last week, we immediately called a meeting of staff to see which groups were likely to be most heavily impacted. We drew up a plan for arranging extra coaches and extra ferries to move the groups and our staff worked late on Friday and through the weekend to make all the necessary arrangements”.
Halsbury Travel found themselves being approached by numerous groups for assistance throughout the weekend and provided numerous European Coaches and ferry crossings to many school groups returning from Madrid, Nice, Montepellier and Salamanca. “It has been very difficult, time-consuming and costly” said a spokesman for the company, “but our first priority had to be the welfare of students and teachers and we felt that it was worth the effort and expense to know that all our parties would be able to return as soon as possible. Prompt action by our staff has meant that most groups have managed to get back with as little as 12 to 24 hours delay at no extra cost”.
Halsbury Travel has been arranging School and Group Travel for over 25 years and typically transports around 40,000 students a year.