Wildfires have been devastating communities across Europe and beyond this summer and are causing a lot of ‘anxiety’ in the international market.
This summer has been one of the hottest on record for mainland Europeans, as ‘heat domes’ expanded over the southern half of the continent.
The 2023 wildfire season has involved wildfires on multiple continents – as the latest deadly blazes in Maui resulted in the confirmed deaths of 114 people, with 850 still unaccounted for.
Fires are currently burning for a fourth day in Alexandroupolis in northern Greece, as gale-force winds fanned blazes across the country.
Last month, wildfires in Algeria killed 34 people, while hundreds had to abandon their homes.
Additionally, a fire the Spanish government says was intentionally lit in Tenerife has grown out of control, forcing thousands to flee the area over the past number of days.
On The Pat Kenny Show travel expert Eoghan Corry said many people’s holiday plans are being disrupted – and they may not be in line for any refund.
"It really depends on, sort of, where they are,” he said.
“[The] very heavily publicised wildfires in, mainly, Rhodes and then in Corfu, they would have maybe three flights, four flights a week from Ireland."
Mr Corry said there were still three flights travelling from Ireland to the popular holiday destination of Tenerife today.
"Everybody [was] on board, but a lot of enquiries and a lot of worry coming to travel agents," he said.
Mr Corry said GPs are being asked to give health letters for patients who could not breathe in poor air conditions.
"People are worrying about going into places that they're seeing on their television screens with a lot of smoke," he said.
If passengers wish to cancel or postpone their travels, they can only claim their money back if authorities have not permitted travel into the country at all, Mr Corry warned.
"We've had one directive in the case of Rhodes from the Department of Foreign Affairs," he said.
"Do not travel to the area affected – that generally is what they're saying ... it's of no use in getting your money back."
If passengers have booked through a travel agent, Mr Corry said they have a better chance of claiming back some money or changing their flights to a new date.
"Unfortunately, if you booked directly with an airline ... the conversation has been less successful for people wanting to change dates," he said.
"The conversation has been very helpful in the case of tour operators, and travel agents, it's been less helpful for people who have booked their holiday themselves."
In Tenerife, Mr Corry said the only impact the disaster is having on holidaymakers is for excursions – as the road to the popular area of Mount Teide is closed.
"People have the smoke in their line of sight, but the holiday season - and there are over 50,000 holidaymakers in Tenerife at the moment - is carrying on as normal," he said.
"The flights are travelling to and from, there's been no flight disruption from fires to any of the major destinations."
He said the holiday disruption is of little consequence when compared to the devastation caused to lives and property.
"Fires have been very, very serious and thousands of people evacuated out of their homes, people have lost their homes," he said.
"The one country where the biggest impact and fatalities have been in [is] Algeria – you would really search to find the news that people have died there because there isn't a holiday industry there."