Champions League: 1,000 Liverpool fans told Kiev flights cancelled

Ruth McKee on 24 May 2018

About 1,000 Liverpool fans who were planning to travel to Ukraine for Saturday’s Champions League final have been left stranded after three flights to the country were cancelled.

The specialist tour operator Worldchoice Sports cut the flights after controllers at Boryspil airport, 29kms outside the capital Kiev, could not allocate landing slots for the three planes due to leave the UK on Friday and Saturday.

In a statement on its website, the company said: “We have exhausted all avenues to try and get landing slots. We have had them from Liverpool airport and Manchester airport and we have applied for slots in the correct manner and timeframe with the authorities. To reiterate this problem IS with Kiev.”

Liverpool FC is expecting over 20,000 supporters to travel to the eastern European city ahead of Saturday’s match in Kiev’s Olimpiyskiy stadium against defending champions Real Madrid.

The club told supporters: “Along with officials from Liverpool John Lennon airport, Liverpool city council, Uefa and the authorities in Kiev, Liverpool FC has been endeavouring to resolve the issue since it first came to light and will continue to do so until all avenues have been exhausted.”

On Thursday night Liverpool’s mayor, Joe Anderson, claimed to have found landing spots for two of the planes after working with his Kiev counterpart – the former professional boxer and the mayor of the Ukrainian capital, Vitali Klitschko.

However, an update on the tour operator’s website stressed that they had only been able to secure one replacement flight for Friday.

In a statement online they told customers: “We have managed to get a three-night flight secured very late in the day. We are currently offering people booked on the two-night stay the opportunity to use this.

“Despite some reports in the media this afternoon this is the only flight we have been able to secure.”

Liverpool’s chief executive, Peter Moore, said those involved in the dispute were “optimistic” that fans who booked with the flight operator would be able to travel to the Champions League final on Saturday night.

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