Goa agent becomes fourth long-haul failure in 2011

London-based Global Travel Agency became the fourth long-haul travel firm to fail in under a month on Tuesday.

The Atol-holding firm sold air-based packages and flights to Goa from premises in Queensway, west London, and traded as an IATA airline agent. It was a member of travel association Abta. Global Travel Agency ceased trading with 40 clients overseas and an as-yet unknown number of forward bookings. 

The Civil Aviation Agency (CAA) said there would be no further outbound flights. Passengers with package bookings or seat-only tickets on a Monarch charter flight may be entitled to refunds. The CAA advised those with scheduled airline tickets to contact their carriers to see whether tickets remained valid and to speak to insurers or credit card companies about refunds.

The agency’s failure followed that of Caribbean-specialist Rion Travel at the end of last week, Leeds-based Grus Travel PTY which sold escorted tours to Australia and New Zealand and failed on January 14, and Oriental Panorama of Leicester – a specialist to Malaysia – which ceased trading on January 12.

All four firms were relatively small, but the failures follow the sharp rise in air passenger duty (APD) in November that it was feared would trigger a downturn in long-haul travel. However, a CAA spokesman said: “We feel the failures are more to do with the general state of the economy, but we are waiting to see an interim administrator’s report.”

The CAA confirmed that Rion Travel, which traded as Caribbean Vacations and Barbados Vacations from offices in London, Manchester and Glasgow, was expected to carry only 380 package-holiday customers a year. However, the company also acted as an accommodation provider to other retailers and to consumers.

Global Travel Agency advertised cheap flights to Goa from Gatwick and Manchester and “tailor-made holidays” to Spain, Turkey, Egypt and Greece. It had been trading since 1997.
The company is in no way related to Global Travel Group or Global Holidays.

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