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Quartz Travel ceases trading after ‘dispute’ with Freedom

Quartz Travel in York founded by entrepreneur Paul Smith has ceased trading after a row with Freedom Travel Group.

The agency was part of Thomas Cook’s Freedom Travel Group until July 10 and traded as a managed service agent under its Atol. It ceased trading on August 30 after 13 years. It had two branches in York and specialised in luxury holidays.

Smith said he and the team of 13 staff were “truly devastated” by the decision to close.

York-based insolvency practitioner Begbies Traynor has been instructed to assist the business to appoint administrators and a notice of intention to appoint administrators has been filed in court.

In a statement, Rob Sadler, of Begbies Traynor, said: “The company’s financial difficulties have arisen from a dispute with its managed services provider, through which holidays were booked, and resultant court proceedings.”

He added: “Once appointed, the administrators will explore the potential sale of the business and assets.”

A Thomas Cook spokeswoman said: “The Freedom Travel Group discovered significant breaches of contract in the way Quartz was handling bookings, and we therefore had no option but to terminate their membership in the interests of customers.”

A message on the company’s telephone answering service said that the business had closed due to “unforeseen circumstances”.

Bookings made before July 10 are protected, according to Thomas Cook, with all customers affected already contacted.

The company’s answer phone message advised clients with bookings made prior to July 10 to call the Freedom Travel Group and those with bookings made after that date to refer to their Atol certificate.

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