NI tourists hit by company collapse

Published Wednesday, 03 August 2011
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Hundreds of people from Northern Ireland, who were destined to holiday in Turkey, have been left in limbo after British tour company Holidays 4 UK went into administration.

The Brighton-based company, which also operated as Aegean Flights, flew 220 sunseekers to and from Dalaman out of Belfast International Airport every Tuesday.

But flights from Dalaman airport have been cancelled, leaving hundreds stranded and those due to fly out scrambling to make new arrangements.

Anyone booked with the company is advised to talk to their travel agent.

All package holiday bookings and flights are now cancelled and customers are advised not to go to the airport.

Civil Aviation Authority

"If you've booked a package holiday and are due to travel in the next few weeks, go back to whoever or wherever you purchased your holiday from," Doreen McKenzie from travel association ABTA said.

"Your travel agent will help you get the forms from the Civil Aviation Authority to make a claim and get your money back - if you wish to still travel you'll have to book a new holiday at a new price."

However, there is less certainty for those who booked 'seat only', as this usually does not come under Air Travel Organisers' Licensing Scheme (ATOL) protection.

"It depends on the paperwork - if it was pure seat only, it probably isn't covered but documentation is key, so look for the ATOL logo on paperwork," Mrs McKenzie said.

"People in resorts at present are covered by the Civil Aviation Authority bond so they will be brought back and have their holiday as normal."

It is thought 13,000 holidaymakers are currently abroad with Holidays 4 UK and thousands more will have their getaway cancelled.

Turkey was a popular choice with holidaymakers this year because it is outside the Euro-zone and cheaper than other destinations.

If you’re currently abroad, you should be able to complete your holiday. The Civil Aviation Authority and/or your tour operator are responsible for booking alternative flights to get you home.

Civil Aviation Authority

"The company don't want to let families and children down, but it's one of those sad cases which happened very quickly and people are going to be affected - but they are protected, if it's a package holiday they purchased," Mrs McKenzie added.

Holidays 4 UK has 18 employees and an annual turnover of about £35m.

Ian Oakley-Smith, joint administrator and director at PricewaterhouseCooper, said the company's demise was as a result of difficulties in the travel industry.

"The director has determined that the business is no longer able to trade and placed the company into administration," he confirmed.

"The company will cease operating with immediate effect. Regrettably most staff have been made redundant."

CAA Helplines

ATOL-protected Holidays 4 U customers who are currently abroad and experiencing difficulties should contact the CAA on 0044 (0)161 444 5810.

Those with forward bookings requiring general advice about refunds under the ATOL scheme can contact the CAA on 08444 933037.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Prtra in belfast wrote (1,276 days ago):
These tour operaters must know things are going bad but still take new bookings and familys are left to pick up the piece's with broken hearted kids
rosaleen mcatamney in Belfast wrote (1,277 days ago):
I've just watched the news and I think the least the lady being interviewed could have done was to be honest. She is misleading people by saying that they will get their money back in weeks. I was in the same position last year when Gold Trail went into administration in July - we were told weeks for a refund by the company when they rang to tell us we would not be going as ABTA, ATOL had protection over the holiday and we were guaranteed our refund. They did offer us to go somewhere else (but we had to pay in full to book a new holiday). It took 10 and a half months for our money to be reimbursed and we put alot of pressure on them to get this - I'm sure people are still waiting on their money back from Gold Trail. Please let people who our in our position tonight know this as they will not be getting there money back anytime soon and they will be charged for the administration of this. Many thanks
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