Administrator of failed FTI cancels 175,000 holidays

Around 175,000 package holidays booked with failed German operator FTI Touristik have been cancelled.

The decision covers all trips with departure dates from July 6.

The firm’s insolvency administrator Axel Bierbach put the total volume of existing travel bookings at a “high three-digit million” figure.

More: Owner of Europe’s third largest operator FTI Group files for insolvency

Agents rebook clients as FTI collapse casts doubt on Youtravel future

Tui Group pledges support for customers and hoteliers affected by FTI collapse

A statement said: “Despite intensive efforts and negotiations with several market participants of the insolvent tour operator FTI, no satisfactory solution could be found to take over the remaining package tours already booked.  

“FTI Touristik GmbH will therefore immediately cancel all trips with departure dates from Saturday, 6 July 2024.”

The Munich-based operating group filed for insolvency on June 3. 

Bierbach said: “In close co-operation with FTI and the German Travel Guarantee Fund (DRSF), we have worked very hard over the past 10 days to find a good solution in the interests of FTI’s customers and partners. 

“We did everything to make package holidays, that have already been booked, possible after all. 

“The DRSF would have been prepared to settle existing refund claims in co-operation with one or more acquiring competitors. This would have allowed holidaymakers with a small budget to start their trips without having to wait for a refund. 

“Unfortunately, we were unable to find such a solution despite the great efforts of all those involved. 

“In intensive negotiations with various competitors, we initially saw promising solutions. In the short time available, however, we were unable to achieve a convincing result for a takeover of the package holidays booked with FTI and [subsidiary] BigXtra.”

Bierbach confirmed that all deposits and any advance payments made by package holidaymakers will be refunded by the German Travel Security Fund.

But customers who booked individual components such as flights, hotels and transfers via FTI are not entitled to a refund of payments already made by the DRSF.

“We did not take the decision to cancel all trips lightly,” Bierbach added. “We know that the uncertainty of those customers who wanted to start their holiday from 6 July has been very stressful over the past week and we would like to thank them for their patience. 

“Nevertheless, for reasons of care, also for the FTI employees in Germany and in the destinations, we made a very conscious decision not to have all booked trips cancelled by FTI immediately after the insolvency application. 

“The large number of bookings is also a significant economic factor for all of FTI’s long-standing contractual partners, above all for the hotels and transport companies in the destination countries.

”We also had to weigh up such a far-reaching decision very carefully in the interests of FTI’s employees and creditors, as considerable assets are at stake. 

A creditors’ committee approved the provisional insolvency administrator’s proposal at a meeting on Friday afternoon.

Responsibility for FTI’s employees also played a major role in the decision to cancel all tours still booked.

“One of the primary objectives of the provisional insolvency proceedings is to maintain business operations as far as possible, secure the assets and thus also create the best possible prospects for the employees to continue the business,” Bierbach said.

He cited several reasons for the fact that it was ultimately not possible to find a solution for the takeover of the package holiday business by one or more competitors. 

“In the past few days, a large number of local FTI companies that take care of hotels and transfers in the holiday destinations have dropped out, meaning that it would no longer have been possible to run the package holidays as originally planned,” he said. 

Specifically, many hotels no longer felt bound by the agreements with the company due to the insolvency. 

In addition, the highly dynamic nature of the travel market and the current competitive situation would have prevented a solution, the statement added.

“We are continuing to explore all reorganisation options within the FTI Group and are currently in numerous discussions,” said Bierbach.

A deal has been agreed to secure the future of 230 TVG branded travel agencies in Germany with franchise partners taking over FTI’s 50% stake.


Share article

View Comments

Jacobs Media is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.