The Allbury Travel Group has hit back at rumours about its future and is already in talks with airlines to secure extra capacity for next year following XL Leisure Group´s failure.

Chief executive Eamonn Ferrin dismissed fears the group´s future was in jeopardy without XL´s flights, despite rumours Thomas Cook and the Elite Travel Group had taken the group off sale.

Thomas Cook said it is continuing to sell the group´s products, while Elite said the group had been off sale since May because of problems linked to hotelier payments.

The group, which owns Libra Holidays, Argo Holidays and Jetlife, has already had to cut its Greece programme because of XL´s collapse.

But Ferrin made bold claims the group could grow in size next year. It has now secured seats with Air Malta to restore its Cyprus and Egypt programme for the remaining summer and winter seasons.

Ferrin said: “I am confident about our future. Our Egypt and Cyprus programmes are almost back to where they were before the XL collapse. What people don´t realise is we have flying with Jet2, Monarch and Thomas Cook.”

The group is also keen to expand its winter programme to increase year-round profitability and is considering destinations such as Tunisia or Morocco either through organic growth or acquisitions.

Ferrin confirmed the group was negotiating for seats on other airlines. “It will be a harder market but we are looking at more flying with other parties and we are in the process of talking to a number of partners to get extra capacity.”
He added: “We will not have to cut capacity for next year. There are significant opportunities with seats coming out of the market.”

But he admitted: “It will be harder to replace flying on the Greek islands.”

As a result some of the group´s programmes are likely to be tweaked for next year. “There will be changes but we see it as an opportunity,” he added.

XL was a 20% shareholder in the Allbury Travel Group and the shares have now been transferred to the administrator.