Page last updated at 22:47 GMT, Monday, 29 September 2008 23:47 UK

Final XL customers return to UK

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

The final holidaymakers left stranded by the collapse of holiday firm XL have arrived back in the UK, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has said.

The CAA has arranged 222 flights from 40 locations for 83,000 holidaymakers since XL collapsed on 12 September.

The authority says its priority now is to deal with claims for refunds from customers with pre-booked XL holidays.

Some 200,000 customers had arranged holidays protected under the Air Travel Organisers' Licensing (Atol) scheme.

'Smooth operation'

The CAA and travel industry have also been involved in organising ferry, coach, train and taxi transport to help people's journeys home, and extra accommodation for those stranded.

CAA director of consumer protection Richard Jackson said: "We recognise the need to learn from our experiences and we will be reviewing our response so far to the XL failure to ensure that any relevant lessons are learned to make sure that the CAA continues to offer customers affected by failures such as this one the best level of service.

"We now ask claimants to bear with us and understand we are working as swiftly as possible to process refund claims."

Mr Jackson thanked colleagues in the travel trade "whose hard work ensured the smoothest possible operation".


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