VIVID Travel is to give cash refunds of final balances to all customers whose holidays it is postponing.
All refunds will be paid by the end of this month.
In a letter sent to customers today, owner and managing director, Kane Pirie, said: “As you are aware, no travel is possible overseas for the foreseeable future.
“We are proactively moving all customers with bookings due to depart before 1 September 2020 to a later date. Customers have been extremely supportive and overall happy to postpone.
“In some instances, where postponing customers require a cash refund of their final balance, either we already have cash refunded or will do so before 31 March.”
Pirie said he is funding the initiative personally – and added that he hopes the move will generate loyalty among customers.
Pirie told Travel Weekly: “We are trying to do the right thing by customers in these unprecedented times and have been bowled over by their positive response.
“I am proud VIVID is doing more to help customers in this way than any other tour operator I am aware of. I am proud of my team who have worked like Trojans to assist customers around the world.
“It is heart-warming to see the nation pull together in the face of a double global crisis, both health and economical.
“We remain upbeat. We are planning on carrying all employees through to calmer waters and looking forwards to holidays resuming. For sure, we could all do with one.”
Abta has repeated a plea for government intervention to provide emergency funding for UK travel companies which face paying out excessive amounts of refunds to customer holidays which have been cancelled due to the coronavirus.
The government is poised to confirm suspension of a key part of the package holiday refund rules in line with Abta’s demands.
The legal requirement for travel organisers to refund consumers within 14 days of cancellation could be relaxed to prevent the drain on cash during the current crisis driving firms out of business.