Turkey and Northern Cyprus specialist Anatolian Sky Holidays has ceased trading, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has confirmed.

The operator, licenced under its World Sky Travel parent name, was a member of the Association of Independent Tour Operators (Aito) and licensed by the CAA to carry just over 5,500 passengers.

The CAA confirmed today (Sat) it was assisting 1,200 passengers following Anatolian’s collapse.

The company sold holidays to customers directly and through travel agents and had approximately 150 people abroad at the time it ceased trading, with 460 forward bookings covering around 1,020 people.

Andy Cohen, head of Atol at the CAA, told Travel Weekly the company had failed at about 6pm on Friday night (July 1).

The CAA is now making arrangements to support the company’s customers and has published advice for those affected.

Solihull-based Anatolian Sky Holidays was founded in 1989, and after 20 years of offering holidays only to Turkey and North Cyprus, it expanded into other destinations such as Croatia, Morocco, Slovenia, Montenegro, the Greek islands, Madeira, Egypt and Jordan.

But Turkey and Cyprus remained the specialists mainstay, and observers suggested that the terrorist attack on the Istanbul Airport on Tuesday night probably compounded an already weakened demand for Turkey this year.

Anatolian Sky’s website was still working as normal by 8.30pm on Friday night, confirming it offered “mostly boutique hotels, full of authentic character, good quality family-run establishments, and luxury 5 star hotels”.

The operator also offered boutique cruising – “not the big ship variety, but more intimate vessels, offering an authentic, relaxing holiday experience. In Turkey and Greece we offer traditional gulet cruises; in Croatia top quality Adriatic cruise boats; and in Egypt Nile cruises on board luxurious floating hotels.”

It also offered worldwide small ship and yacht cruises to destinations such as Cuba, the Seychelles and the Canary Islands.

CAA advice for Anatolian Sky customers:

Anyone booked with the company who is currently abroad should have scheduled airline tickets, which remain valid and can be used to return home as planned.

The CAA is in contact with accommodation and airport transfer providers to make sure there are no changes to the arrangements booked through the company. Further advice on accommodation arrangements has been published on the CAA website caa.co.uk

Customers yet to travel

Customers who have paid in full for packages booked with the company or through agents and have scheduled airline tickets have two options: travel as planned; or seek a refund – through their card provider if purchased with a credit card, or through ATOL if another payment method was used.

Customers are advised that they will need to rearrange and pay for accommodation and transfers to and from the airport in resort booked through the company. Costs for making these arrangements can be claimed back and more information on this is available on the CAA website.

Head of ATOL, Andy Cohen, said: “The collapse of World Sky Travel is a timely reminder of why holidaymakers should make sure their holiday is ATOL protected and that they receive an ATOL certificate, as soon as they’ve booked their trips.

“As a result of the ATOL scheme, customers of this company have the peace of mind they will be able to complete their holidays and return home as planned if already abroad, or get a full refund if yet to travel.”