|Iron Maiden singer rescues stranded tourists|
From correspondents in London September 14, 2008 12:47pm
IRON Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson has flown to the rescue of holidaymakers left stranded abroad after Britain's third largest tour operator collapsed, newspapers have reported.
The heavy metal hero is also a Boeing 757 pilot and flew a specially-chartered Monarch Airlines flight from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt to London Gatwick Airport.
XL Leisure Group went into administration Friday, leaving some 85,000 British holidaymakers stranded abroad.
Since then almost 12,000 people have been brought back as part of an airlift mission conducted by the aviation regulator.
"I was just doing my job. I was called out like a lot of other pilots to help and I was obviously happy to do that," The Mail on Sunday newspaper quoted rocker Dickinson as saying.
"Some of the people on the flight were obviously frustrated by the situation they had found themselves in but everyone was pretty good-natured about it all."
Dickinson, 50, said he was off to the Greek island of Kos next to rescue some more stranded holidaymakers.
The Iron Maiden frontman has been a captain with Astraeus, having worked for the British charter airline for nine years.
Dickinson has also competed in fencing at international level.
XL sponsored English Premier League football club West Ham's shirts and the east London side played with patches covering the firm's logo in their 3-2 defeat at West Bromwich over the weekend.