HUNDREDS of passengers had to wait more than 40 hours to board a flight to Zakynthos as delays caused chaos at Cardiff Airport.

Holidaymakers were also delayed in boarding flights to Dalman and Ibiza for more than 24 hours.

TUI’s flight to Zakynthos was scheduled to leave Cardiff Airport at 2pm on Tuesday, May 24. The flight left at 11.41am today.

Passengers have been reporting chaotic scenes at the airport, with suggestions that food and drink is running low.

It comes amid reports that passengers are also facing delays with boarding Cardiff-bound flights abroad.

One passenger who was waiting for the Zakynthos flight said: "It's been hugely emotional. 

"It was 42 hours all in all - we're all exhausted but we're going to try and make the most of it. 

"We’re like a big family now. We've got honeymooners, brides to be, children, oldies. We're all friends."

A spokesperson for Cardiff Airport said: "We are sorry to hear that some passengers are currently experiencing delays to their TUI flights due to operational issues, medical emergencies and other circumstances outside of the tour operator’s control.

"This is a dynamic situation and we’re working closely with TUI to minimise disruption. TUI have advised us that they have been maintaining regular communications with their passengers throughout, and we appreciate customers’ patience and understanding during this time. 

"In order to mitigate the impact of these delays, passengers were offered food vouchers and overnight accommodation in line with TUI’s customer service responsibilities."

Spencer Birns, CEO Cardiff Airport said: “Please be reassured that the TUI and Cardiff airport teams are working exceptionally hard to assist customers and minimise disruption to passengers’ holiday plans. TUI has deployed a special assistance team to the airport, and it is working hard to advise customers of their revised departure times as quickly as possible”.

A spokeswoman for TUI said: "As the UK’s biggest holiday company we will never cancel flights as we know how much our customers look forward to their holiday with us.

"We are doing everything we can to limit any flight delays, which can happen from time to time for various operational reasons.

"On the rare occasion flight delays do take place we will do everything we can to support our customers.

"We would like to apologise for the inconvenience to our customers travelling from Cardiff Airport today which have been delayed due to technical issues with an aircraft.

"Customers have been offered overnight accommodation where required, and meals and refreshments. They also have the option to amend or cancel their holiday if they no longer wish to travel.

"The safety and wellbeing of our passengers and crew is always our highest priority, and we would like to thank passengers for their patience and understanding at this time."