The world’s oldest travel firm collapsed today, stranding hundreds of people holidaying around the globe. This shutdown made 20,000 people unemployed out of which 9,000 belonged to UK.
The liquidation marks the end of one of the oldest companies in Britain that commenced its journey on 1841 running local rail excursions and had also survived two world wars.
The firm ran hotels, resorts and airlines for 19 lakh people a year in 16 countries. Chief Executive Peter Fankhauser said it was a matter of regret as the company had gone out of business after it failed to rescue package from its lenders that went through the weekend.
UK’s Civil Aviation Authority(CAA) said that it had ceased trading and the regulator and government had a fleet of planes ready to bring 150,000 British customers over the next week.
British Transport Minister Grant Shapps said the government had managed to acquire planes from across the world to get people home.
The corporate collapse has the potential to spark chaotic scenes around the world, with holidaymakers stuck in hotels that have not been paid in locations as far afield as Goa, Gambia and Greece.
In the longer run, it could also worsen the tourism sectors of Spain and Turkey, leaving fuel suppliers out pf pocket.
The group had set for a rescue when it agreed to the key terms of a 900 million pound recapitalisation plan in a deal with its biggest shareholder, China’s Fosun. Fosun said it was disheartened by the company’s collapse.
With headlines swirling that firm was in trouble, suppliers started calling in their debts and future customers went elsewhere, draining the company of the cash.