Advantage confident over finances following Freedom Direct failure

Advantage is confident the consortium will be not be affected financially as a result of the failure of its former member Freedom Direct Holidays.

It follows speculation from some observers that claims as a result of the failure of the agency and operator, now owned by Hays Travel, could hit seven figures.

Chief executive John McEwan is confident the consortium’s minimum insurance bond of £300,000 for its electronic payment system CAPS will cover any claims by Freedom Direct Holidays,

but added there was a top-up facility also available.

The bond protects monies paid by customers to Freedom but not yet passed on to suppliers.

McEwan said: “We don’t know the size of the claims but we have no reason to think the bond will not adequately cover them. It’s complicated because some of the claims will be destined for the Civil Aviation Authority or ABTA; we don’t know what percentage of them are coming to us.”

He admitted the consortium was taken by surprise by the failure of Freedom Direct. “We were quite surprised by what happened. Freedom was trading profitably and had a good set of accounts and balance sheet,” he said.

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