British holidaymakers on the Greek island of Zante have been stranded for two days after their easyJet flight experienced technical problems.

The service was due to leave for Gatwick on Sunday but after the aircraft experienced a technical fault a curfew on night flights due to turtles meant a replacement could not be sent.

Zante is one of the most important breeding grounds for loggerhead turtles and strict rules are in place to protect from noise and light.

After easyJet engineers thought they had fixed the problem it recurred lengthening the delay for an estimated 135 people who were left stranded in Zakynthos until Tuesday.

Many of the holidaymakers are thought to have caught flights on other carriers, and easyJet has confirmed they will be liable for compensation.

But those who were left on the Greek island complained they were given no information by easyJet and were left to fend for themselves with only cheese sandwiches available in the airport’s two cafes.

An EasyJet spokesman apologised for the delay: “Unfortunately easyJet was unable to operate the flight EZY8746 from Zante to London Gatwick on Sunday due to a technical fault with the aircraft.

“Engineers were immediately dispatched to Zante and believed that the technical issue was rectified [on Monday], however it then re-occurred before boarding which meant the flight could not operate.

“The safety of our passengers and crew is our highest priority and we will only operate if it is safe to do so.

“We do all possible to try to minimise delays and as such planned to send a replacement aircraft.

“Unfortunately, due to the night curfew rule at the airport, we were unable to get the aircraft into the airport on Monday. The flight is now due to depart on Tuesday afternoon.”