Thousands of stranded Chinese passengers leave Jeju Island
Jeju: Around 1,100 passengers stranded in the cruise liner Henna have left Jeju Island to Beijing, the Chinese consulate general in Jeju Island said Saturday.
HNA Tourism, the Beijing-based operator of the Henna, has so far sent five chartered planes to South Korea to take passengers of the detained cruise liner back, said Sun Limin, an official of the Chinese Consulate General in Jeju Island.
The fifth chartered plane departed from the Jeju Island airport with 250 passengers late Saturday.
Each passenger taking the chartered plane has signed an agreement with the HNA to accept a compensation of around 2,000 RMB (around $330) or a free ticket of Henna within one year, Sun said.
A total of 550 passengers are still staying on board. Some 55 of them are demanding higher compensations while others, mostly elders, preferred to return to China on cruise Henna, according to the consulate.
"We can hardly deal with all the disputes and satisfy all the passengers in Jeju, so we will try our best to bring all 550 passengers home with the cruise liner Henna tomorrow (Sunday)," Sun said, adding that the detained ship is expected to leave as early as Monday after finishing all the departure procedures.
The Henna, with 1,659 passengers and a crew of 650 on board, was scheduled to sail at 4 pm on Friday from Jeju to Incheon. It was detained before departure by a Jeju court, which received a seizure application on claims of legal disputes from a subsidiary company of Jiangsu Shagang Group Co. Ltd., the cruise operator said.
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