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Kent pupils left in lurch after P&O cancellations saw Italy ski trip abandoned head to Alps after Aylesford School's trip given last minute reprieve


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A ski trip for pupils cancelled hours before departure due to the ferry crisis in Kent has been saved after tour operators were able to find a last minute alternative.

Pupils from Aylesford School on Teapot Lane, Aylesford, were due to travel with P&O Ferries on Friday.

Aylesford School in Teapot Lane, Aylesford. Picture: Google
Aylesford School in Teapot Lane, Aylesford. Picture: Google

The week-long trip to Italy, mainly for Year 11 students at the school, was organised more than two years ago, but was moved on two occasions due to the pandemic.

The group were meant to travel with beleaguered P&O which has stopped services since sacking 800 members of staff last month and there have been no services running from Dover.

The school's travel operator initially was unable to find alternative transport.

Last Thursday, parents received a notice that the trip had been cancelled, with only 24 hours until departure.

However, after coverage by both KentOnline and other media outlets, the trip is now back on.

Aylesford School head teacher Tanya Kelvie said she was thrilled the trip had been saved
Aylesford School head teacher Tanya Kelvie said she was thrilled the trip had been saved

Head teacher of Aylesford School, Tanya Kelvey, said she was thrilled by the news.

She said: "It is such good news. The tour operator - funnily enough after our media appearance - managed to get us a crossing.

"The students left at around 2am on Saturday, and I got confirmation that they had safely arrived in Italy on Sunday morning.

"We are over the moon that it was able to go ahead, that was the most important thing for us.

"We didn't want the students to miss out on a trip that has been two years in the planning and also had to be cancelled twice due to Covid."

She added: "It's good for them to have something that enables them to enjoy education again."

Trevor Kenney, whose 16-year-old son is at the school and was one of the many disappointed pupils, tweeted his relief.

He said: "We had some good news. The tour company has found a crossing on the way out and the tunnel on the way back along with a new coach operator, so they are going later than anticipated and the ski trip is back on."

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