Page last updated at 10:57 GMT, Monday, 22 September 2008 11:57 UK

More XL rescue flights this week

Grounded XL planes at Manchester airport
The airline collapsed prompting an "unprecedented" repatriation operation

Some 38,000 tourists still stranded by the collapse of holiday company XL are to be flown home this week.

The vast majority had been on two-week breaks when XL's 21 planes were grounded on 12 September, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said.

It said that in the week following XL's collapse, 199 flights carrying 46,765 passengers flew back to the UK from 40 holiday destinations.

It described the repatriation operation as "unprecedented".

'Smooth' operation

A spokesman for the CAA said that after the initial upheaval caused by the collapse, the return of holidaymakers had been relatively smooth.

CAA EMERGENCY HELPLINE
Customers abroad: +44 (0) 2891 856547
Customers in the UK with advance bookings: 0870 5900927

He encouraged those still on holiday to enjoy the rest of their break, as they should not have to pay extra for hotel bills.

Richard Jackson, CAA director of consumer protection, also praised other tour operators for their assistance in getting people home.

"Their important contribution has greatly helped the smooth repatriation for the vast majority of XL holidaymakers and allowed many others to complete their holidays," he said.

All Atol-protected travellers are able to travel back on flights organised by the CAA.

Those not on package trips are still being offered places on these flights for a "reasonable cost".

Helpline

In the seven days following XL's collapse the CAA helpline received 84,000 calls and the Atol website received more than 148,000 visitors.

Some 85,000 XL customers were abroad when the travel company's flights were grounded.

About 50,000 of these were on Atol-protected package breaks.

The decision to place XL Leisure Group into administration also left thousands of staff facing the axe.


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