Abta has stepped in to guarantee the holidays of customers booked with tour operator Short Breaks which ceased trading on Monday.

Short Breaks Ltd, based in Beckenham, folded with about 800 passengers booked to travel in the next three months.

The company, an Abta member, specialised in Eurostar city breaks, holidays to Euro Disney and self-drive trips to France and Belgium.

Abta said all Short Breaks’ customers could continue with their holidays as bookings are fully protected “up until the end of May”.

In a statement, Abta said it would “move on to deal with departures from June 2019. We intend, wherever possible, to allow these bookings to continue.”

The association said: “Train tickets and attraction passes have been paid for in advance by Short Breaks.

“As a result, Abta has taken the decision to cover the costs of hotels for imminent departures in order to minimise disruption and inconvenience for customers, meaning people can continue with their holiday as planned.”

John de Vial, Abta head of financial protection, said: “It can be a difficult experience if your travel company goes out of business, as while you can get the money back for what you have paid, forward bookings are often cancelled – disrupting people’s travel plans.

“I’m pleased to let the customers of Abta member Short Breaks Ltd know that their holidays will not be affected by the company going out of business and will go ahead as normal.

“We have agreed to pay unpaid accommodation for customers travelling in May and we will be in discussion with customers who have later departure dates to discuss their options regarding accommodation.”

De Vial said: “Short Breaks’ customers were fully financially protected by Abta and we have taken this decision to minimise inconvenience to customers who will have the reassurance of knowing they will be able to stay in their originally booked accommodation and not have to pay again and then seek a refund.”

MoreVal-Ski ceases trading ‘after 43 years’ [Mar 19]

North London agency Lee’s Travel ceases trading [Oct 18]

Mountain holiday specialist ceases trading [Feb 19]