XL collapse sparks more travel firm failures


Respect Holidays and Wildwind holidays have ceased trading as travel companies continue to feel the pressure from the credit crunch and the fall-out from the collapse of XL earlier this month.

The two brands operated as part of London-based gay holiday specialists Lidana, which offers breaks to the Canary Islands and the Mediterranean.

At least 23 holiday firms have now failed in the last six months, including nine since August 14, among them XL, Segura and Pure Flights.

This represents close to the total number of failures in the whole previous financial year, when 25 Atol-protected travel companies went bankrupt.

Hundreds of holidaymakers have been affected by Lidana’s collapse, with more than 100 people currently abroad. Around 3,500 people travelled with Lindana each year.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which runs the Atol scheme, has blamed the failure on the collapse of XL Airways, whose flights Lidana used.

“The latest failures are directly linked that of XL,” said a CAA spokesman. “Lidana had trouble with the cost of replacing these flights.”

He said that the CAA was prepared for more companies to cease trading in the coming months and added that it was likely other operators would be affected by XL’s demise.

Mark Warner, which used XL Airways flights for its entire Winter programme, said last week that it is expects to spend around £280,000 on finding new flights for its passengers.