UK airline XL goes into administration

Holiday group XL went into administration leaving up to 85,000 holidaymakers stranded abroad

Travel Insurance News - 12/09/2008

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The Leisure group XL which includes the airline, XL Airways and a number of holiday companies including Kosmar Villa Holidays and Aspire Holidays went into administration today. XL was the UK’s third largest package holiday group.

XL Airlines flies to 50 destinations mainly in the Mediterranean. The airline flies mainly from Gatwick, Manchester and Glasgow airports. XL had 21 aircraft and flew to the Caribbean, Mediterranean, North Africa and North America. The group, which carried 2.3 million passengers last year, has 1,700 employees worldwide.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said that up to 85,000 people could be stranded abroad and over 200,000 have made advance bookings with the company. A spokesman from the CAA said “it was making arrangements to help holidaymakers stranded abroad to be repatriated back to the UK, with XL Airways no longer operating, we're having to bring in substitute aircraft to bring people home." David Glover also said that package deals are covered by the CAA's Air Travel Organisers' Licensing (ATOL) scheme and those customers will be offered repatriation flights or their money back if they have an advance booking.

However, those who booked directly with the airline or via their website will face a fee. He advised those with future flights to check their travel insurance policies, and with their banks or credit card companies about refunds.

A statement on the XL group's website said: "The companies entered into administration having suffered as a result of volatile fuel prices, the economic downturn, and were unable to obtain further funding."

XL companies consist of:

XL Leisure Group

XL Airways UK

Excel Aviation

Explorer House

Aspire Holiday

Freedom Flights

Freedom Flights (Aviation)

The Really Great Holiday Company

Medlife Hotels

Travel City Flights

Kosmar Villa Holidays

Useful Number:

CAA Emergency Helpline - Customers abroad: +44 (0) 2891 856547 - Customers in the UK with advance bookings: 0870 5900927

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