Page last updated at 09:47 GMT, Friday, 29 August 2008 10:47 UK

Zoom gloom after airline folds

Zoom aircraft
Zoom airline suspended all operations

About 100 passengers expecting to fly to Canada have had to try and find alternative arrangements after their airline folded.

UK-Canadian company Zoom blamed the collapse on the cost of fuel.

On Thursday evening a flight was to travel from Cardiff to Belfast and then on to Vancouver.

However, it was grounded when the airline said it was suspending all operations.

Several passengers told the BBC they did not know what to do or how they would get to Canada.

All passengers due to fly with the airline have been advised by Zoom to seek bookings with alternative airlines.

I'm stuck here. I don't have a lot of money at the minute because I've been here for two months
Danielle Conlon

Belfast International Airport said they had a contingency plan to provide blankets, hot meals and amenities for passengers who may have wished to stay in the terminal on Thursday night.

"The vast majority of passengers left the airport within a short time of hearing the news of the airline's collapse and the subsequent cancellation of their flight," said a spokeswoman.

"The Belfast International Airport website carries information on alternative flights and routing to Canada for Zoom passengers."

In North America, passengers wanting to fly to Northern Ireland were also stranded. Danielle Conlon from Belfast was due to fly home from Calgary in Canada on Saturday. She said she was getting desperate.

"I'm stuck here. I don't have a lot of money at the minute because I've been here for two months, I've spent my holiday money, I kept a few hundred pounds as an emergency back up but I didn't think something as serious as this would happen to me.

"I tried to phone Calgary airport today but all the phone lines are busy, I tried to ring Zoom's phonelines but their offices are closed, it's a long weekend here in Calgary for Labour day so all the hotels are getting booked out as well."

Zoom employs 450 staff in Canada and 260 staff in the UK.

'Deep regret'

It operated flights from Belfast, London Gatwick, Glasgow, Manchester, Cardiff , Paris and Rome.

It flew to eight destinations in Canada, New York, San Diego, Fort Lauderdale and Bermuda.

Zoom founders, Scottish brothers Hugh and John Boyle, said in a statement: "We deeply regret the fact that we have been forced to suspend all Zoom operations. It is a tragic day for our passengers and staff.

The announcement came after one of its planes was detained at Glasgow Airport on Thursday for non-payment of air traffic control charges.

Meanwhile, passengers on a flight from Cardiff were told to get off their Zoom plane, which was then impounded.




SEE ALSO
Zoom passengers seek new flights
29 Aug 08 |  Scotland

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