Online travel agent Holidays 4U has ceased trading, leaving around 12,000 of its customers abroad and close to 50,000 advance bookings.
The company notified the Civil Aviation Authority that it had insufficient credit to continue, and the regulator called in its security and bond. Holidays 4U had been a specialist in cheap flights to Turkey, as well as packages and all-inclusive trips. The company’s staff at its head offices in Brighton have been informed, and its overseas bases in Marmaris and Bodrum will also be closing.
As an Atol-holder, Holidays 4U was licensed to carry a maximum of 66,000 passengers from July to September, and more than 100,000 per year. Although registered as Holidays 4U UK Ltd, the company also traded under the names Accomodation Overseas, Aegean Flights and Holiday Beds.
Two flights carrying Holidays 4U customers were said to have left the UK this morning, but holidaymakers currently on trips booked with the company should be fine to complete their holidays. Turkish airline Onur Air exclusively handled flights for the company, flying from a range of regional UK hubs, and has said it is willing to assist with any repatriation efforts which may be necessary.
Holidays 4U was obligated to provide a bond and additional security when renewing its Atol license earlier in 2011, but the amount will not cover the clean-up operation required by the company’s demise. The Air Travel Trust fund is likely to have to pay around £5 million towards the cost of repatriating holidaymakers and refunding booked trips.
Holidays 4U was said to have experienced difficulties trading in recent months, after the decline in travellers looking for cheap flights to Turkey and packahe holidays in the region.