XL Leisure Group, the UK’s third largest package holiday company, has blamed rising fuel prices and the poor economic conditions for its collapse. The operator says it has been unable to obtain further funding, leaving thousands of holidaymakers stranded abroad.
It has advised all of its customers who have yet to take their holidays to make alternative arrangements after going into administration early this morning (September 12) and grounding its flights. Customers who are already away on their holidays will be able to claim back the cost of returning home through a scheme operated by the Civil Aviation Authority. People that have only booked flights are not protected.
The holiday operator’s collapse leaves East London football club West Ham without a sponsor just weeks into the new season. The club had a £7.5m deal with the operator and is expected to seek a replacement immediately.
It is thought that up to 85,000 UK holidaymakers are currently on trips run by the company, and a further 200,000 have made bookings. TUI Travel says it is trying to help XL Leisure customers stranded abroad to get back to the UK.
XL Leisure operates XL Airlines and flies to 50 destinations and its companies include Kosmar Villa Holidays and The Really Great Holiday Company.