Hibs have apologised to the fans who were preparing to fly to see the team play the second leg of their Europa League qualifier and have promised to create a special matchday experience for them in the near future. The club has also refunded the fans.
The late cancellation resulted in Hibs scrambling to secure a replacement flight so they could fulfil the fixture against Asteras Tripolis on Thursday.
Hibs chief executive Leeann Dempster, who has worked in the airline industry, said in a club statement: “Hibernian FC would like to apologise to around 50 supporters who were due to travel with the Club on its charter to Greece following a late cancellation of our aircraft which has forced us to cancel their booking.
“The airline’s late withdrawal of the plane which we had booked meant the Club faced a scramble to source another aircraft at desperately short notice, and we were only able to find one with far fewer seats.
“This has meant that we have only been able to transport the players and the rest of the club group.
“While the circumstances were not within our control, we appreciate that the affected supporters will feel terribly let-down. Obviously, full refunds will be paid, but the Club is also looking to create a special matchday experience for the group at our next home match to seek to make amends.
“We are genuinely very sorry that this has happened. While it has not been due to circumstances within our control we have tried desperately but without success to find another suitable plane to take everyone.
“This morning we were informed of a flight schedule change which delayed the departure time. We were subsequently told at 3.50pm this afternoon by our charter company that the aircraft was unavailable due to staff sickness and that no suitably qualified crew were available as replacements.
“I worked in the airline business, and this situation is extremely rare and came as a shock. We, alongside the charter supplier, exhausted all avenues trying to source suitable recovery aircraft, however we could not at such an incredibly late stage find one that allowed us to take fans with us.”