Sandstorm above the Canary Islands reduces air traffic to about zero on airports busiest day

On Saturday 22 February, air traffic towards the three main airports on the Canary Islands (Tenerife South TFS – Las Palmas LPA – Tenerife North TFN) was reduced to about zero after a huge sandstorm. Some flights to Fuerteventura (FUE) and Lanzarote (ACE) were also cancelled or diverted. According to preliminary information on flight tracking website, Flightradar24 at least 30 flights were either cancelled or diverted to other airports as far away as Faro or Malaga.

Some airlines decided to return their flights to the airport of departure (read more in our forum). Saturday is the day with the highest air traffic towards the Canary Islands. Satellite footage (see below) shows the sandstorm developing from the African continent.

The sandstorm is having a knock-on effect as air traffic is also interrupted on Sunday.


Bart Noëth: Since 1996, I have been working in the Belgian airline industry, from a weekend job as a cabin aircraft cleaner to a flight attendant. After the demise of Sabena - in 2001, I created a website called, originally a meeting place for plane spotters and aviation freaks. Since 2017, the website changed into a professional news site. Next to aviation, I love to travel, wine and dine and enjoy my time off(-line) with my friends and family. My favourite football squad is KV Mechelen, I am an Ironman 70.3 finisher and my ambition is to complete a full Ironman.
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