Aspire Holidays has become the first business owned and managed by XL Leisure Group to be sold off to a new owner.
The luxury brand has now been acquired by private short-haul jet holiday company Jeffersons and it is hoped that around half of the operator’s eight staff will be retained, although managing director Gianni Bonuglia will not be kept on.
However, he is currently advising Jeffersons on the integration of the business and its assets which was bought for an undisclosed sum.
Jeffersons managing director Robin Fawcett said Aspire would maintain its links with around 50 travel agents it currently works with. The operator will also contact all its future customers who lost their bookings when XL collapsed but who would have been refunded by the CAA.
He added: “We were aware of Aspire’s position and we were looking for something that we could build on. Most of the customers who use Jeffersons use it for something celebratory so they’re not booking with us two or three times a year.”
Instead Fawcett hopes his customers will use Aspire to book more traditional and less expensive holidays without private jets while he added the brand is also stronger in younger markets.
He added the privately-owned Jeffersons will continue keeping its eyes open for other acquisition opportunities should they emerge.
Fawcett said: “It was an interesting opportunity for us and they say recessions always throw up interesting opportunities for companies with a lightness of touch and which can move quickly. We are able to act quickly if another fantastic opportunity comes up.”