XL’s group chief executive Phil Wyatt today said he took full responsibility for the company’s collapse, leaving the travel industry facing a massive airlift of 67,000 people on XL holidays worldwide.

In a public statement this morning he confirmed the XL Group had debts of £143m.

“I blame myself,” he said of its failure to survive, adding that until last night the company had made ditch attempts to refinance.

“I am the CEO and I take the responsiblity for it.”

Wyatt said it had proved difficult to absorb the year-on-year impact of an $80m fuel cost.

Wyatt was unable to answer press questions about why an XL flight from Orlando, Florida, reportedly was circling the skies and unable to land at Manchester Airport where three XL aircraft currently are clamped and grounded, giving further indication of the chaos surrounding the company’s collapse.