September 25, 2008

20,000 Scots Tourists Hit By Collapse of Travel Firm Prestwick Airport Loses Its Biggest Operator Seguro

UP TO 20,000 Scots tourists have been hit by the collapse of a second travel firm in as many weeks.

Some 2500 holidaymakers abroad and about 18,000 who have made advance bookings have been affected after budget package holiday firm Seguro Holidays stopped trading.

The firm's main base is at Prestwick Airport in Ayrshire .

The announcement follows the suspension on August 28 of all operations of transatlantic budget carrier Zoom Airlines .

All Seguro customers abroad will be able to complete their holidays while those with forward bookings will be refunded because the company was a member of a scheme run by the Civil Aviation Authority.

Seguro, which began operating in 1991 and had its headquarters in Macclesfield, Cheshire, blamed the cash troubles of Spanish airline Futura, which supplied 80-per cent of its fl ights.

The Majorca-based airline had its operating licence suspended on Sunday by Spanish aviation chiefs and launched insolvency proceedings the following day .

The collapse of Seguro is a blow for Prestwick Airport where it was the biggest charter operator .

Last year it accounted for almost one in 20 of the airport's passengers taking 70,000 passengers abroad to six resorts in Portugal, Spain and the Canary Islands.

In a statement released by Seguro yesterday, directors Rachel Elliott and Richard Burke said:

"Futura's collapse was totally unexpected .

"After 10 years flying from Glasgow Prestwick Airport and great support from travel agents and clients, we offer our sincere apologies and are very sad to have had to make this decision, but we were left with no alternative."

The firm's website was replaced by a statement, referring customers to the CAA website, at www. atol.

org. uk, for further information.

A spokesman for the CAA, which said it had been called in to protect customers booked with the company, said administrators had not yet been appointed to take charge of Seguro's affairs.

The statement went on:

"The CAA, under its ATOL (Air Travel Organiser's Licensing) scheme, is making arrangements for customers abroad to complete their holidays and return to the UK and to refund fully those with forward bookings."

It said all holidays with the firm had been cancelled.

A spokesman for Glasgow Prestwick Airport said:

"Naturally we are very disappointed by this development as Seguro has been a successful operator here for 10 years, where they have built a very loyal customer base, and we have had a strong working relationship with them."

Originally published by Newsquest Media Group.

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