PASSENGERS have been left in the lurch after Southend Airport flights to Germany were postponed.

Jetisfaction has pulled the plug on its route from Southend to Munster Osna-bruck airport, in north Germany, until further notice.

The flight company insists it has not cancelled the flights, but customers are desperately seeking refunds.

The postponement is the first major setback since several operators announced they would be flying from the revamped airport.

Jonathan Rayner, head of business development at Stobart Air which owns Southend Airport, said: "We were recently advised by Jetisfaction that their Munster-Osnabruck service has been postponed for operational reasons. We understand booked customers will be contacted by the Jetisfaction call centre.

“For those customers who are yet to be contacted, queries can be directed to Jetisfaction customer services.”

The flights were due to begin from October 31.

One customer who hoped to spend Christmas with German friends has been told she won’t be going and will have to wait up to five weeks for a refund of the £200 she spent on flights for herself and her husband.

Lesley Moore, 51, of Bolney Drive, Eastwood, who was due to depart on December 23, said: “I don’t know why, but I had a feeling that something was wrong.

“I wanted to check our luggage allowance so I thought I would pop into the airport and check the flights were OK at the same time.

“I was told by airport staff there were changes to the schedule and it was out of their control.

“They wouldn’t tell me what had happened and just gave me a number in Germany to call.

“Luckily, I got someone who spoke English, but all they said was it would take two to five weeks to get my money back.”

Mrs Moore added: “As far as I am concerned, my Christmas has been cancelled. I have booked time off work and my friends in Germany have done the same. Now I have to tell them it’s all cancelled. I feel very let down. We live very near the airport and hoped it would be very useful, but we were wrong.”

A spokesman for Jetisfaction did not take up the offer to explain the postponement.

Instead, the company issued a statement. It read: “The flights are not cancelled, but only postponed. A final start date will be released within the next two weeks.”

The company can be contacted on +49 251 98 115533