Page last updated at 14:52 GMT, Friday, 12 September 2008 15:52 UK

In quotes: XL collapse

XL, the UK's third largest package holiday company, has gone into administration. Here's the reaction from the industry and consumers:

Phil Wyatt, XL chairman

"Unfortunately, the huge fuel price hike and the inability of the business to hedge all its fuel has increased our costs year on year by over $80m.

So where many people have been making hay with high oil prices, this is the repercussions of that hay - 1,700 people potentially out of work today in the UK.

We've made every effort - myself and my fellow directors - to find new funding for the business, and it's a very sad day for me personally. I am totally devastated."

XL

"The companies entered into administration having suffered as a result of volatile fuel prices, the economic downturn, and were unable to obtain further funding.

The joint administrators cannot continue trading the business and therefore all flights operated by the companies have been immediately cancelled and the aircraft grounded."

DAVID, XL PILOT

"It's a great shame, I had no idea it was really coming. I had a text a couple of hours ago from somebody who'd been sort of reading the news, and I had no idea.

I was actually supposed to operate a flight later today, so of course I'm now obviously concerned for everybody who won't be travelling, and obviously I heard people down in Gatwick who've just arrived for their morning flights, and I think it's a real great shame for everyone concerned."

JOHN STRICKLAND, ANALYST, JLS CONSULTING

"They (Civil Aviation Authority) will be looking to other airlines operating in the same market as XL Airways to provide seats.

Now that's easier said than done because we're not yet out of the peak travel season, so XL's flights themselves would have been running pretty well at full capacity and so will most of those operated by their rivals. "

COLIN, XL CUSTOMER

"I was walking here this morning past the signs for the XL holiday company, and one of them said 'your holiday starts here', and I suddenly thought, well, maybe it stops here as well."

CIVIL AVIATION AUTHORITY

"The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the travel industry are working together to protect customers of the XL Leisure Group UK after it ceased trading.

The CAA estimates that there are 50,000 tour operator customers of XLUK abroad, and a further 10,000 abroad with XL Airways, and 25,000 with other tour operators who shared the XL flights.

A further 200,000 customers have advance bookings with the XL tour operators."

DAVID CLOVER, ATOL

"With XL Airways no longer operating we are having to bring in substitute aircraft to bring people home.

We ask people to be patient while we organise that ... bear with us, this is a huge failure."

STRAUMUR BANK, XL's LENDER

"Straumur-Burdaras Investment Bank has had a good lending relationship with XL for a number of years and deeply regrets this recent development.

An agreement has been reached whereby Straumur has acquired XL's German and French subsidiaries, which Straumur considers to be financially viable and sustainable businesses.

They will continue operations as separate commercial entities."

SPENCER DAVIS, XL EMPLOYEE

"It's tough and it's probably not going to get any easier, but we just have to get on with it. It's just the way that the airline industry is going at the moment.

We are now going to be competing for the same jobs with many other staff who have also been put out of work.

There are a lot of people who woke up this morning without work."

ROBERT SPURGEON, HOLIDAYMAKER

"We're meant to be staying in a timeshare so it's just waiting for us. I booked the flights through XL directly on my debit card so it doesn't look like I'm going to get anything back.

We've not been told anything but my wife's been quoted 2,000 for alternative flights."

THOMAS COOK

"Customers who have booked with Thomas Cook can rest assured that their money is safe and we will do all we can to minimise disruption to their holiday plans.

Today's news does highlight how important it is for holidaymakers to book their travel through ATOL-bonded travel companies in order for them to be totally protected in these situations."

JOHN, XL CUSTOMER

"I'm just infuriated - it's such short notice. Nine months I've waited for this, and they then wait until we get to the airport to tell me I can't go anywhere. Now I'm not going to get my holiday back this year."

PETER LONG, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, TUI TRAVEL

"In the current environment where the price of oil has increased substantially, we are continuously seeing airlines with less than robust business models failing.

Unfortunately, many people believe that they will be protected when this arises and this is not the case.

Scheduled airlines, low cost airlines and online intermediaries, unlike tour operators, are not bonded which leaves their customers stranded or unable to get their money back in the event of failure.

It is time that the Government realised that there needs to be a level playing field for all providers of overseas leisure travel arrangements."

JULIAN CASTLE, XL CUSTOMER

"We arrived at our check-in desk this morning and were just handed a letter telling us what had happened.

Why they have to leave it to the early hours of the morning to announce they're going into liquidation is beyond me. We're very disappointed and very annoyed."


SEE ALSO
Flights grounded as company folds
12 Sep 08 |  Bristol/Somerset

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
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FROM OTHER NEWS SITES
Yorkshire Post Video: Tourists stranded as credit crunch grounds XL Leisure - 53 mins ago
Sky News XL Holidaymakers Heading Home - 1 hr ago
Mid Sussex Today XL holidaymakers left stranded - 1 hr ago
Andover Advertiser Stranded holidaymakers heading home - 1 hr ago
Horncastle News 65,000 tourists stranded by holiday firm collapse - 2 hrs ago



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