Page last updated at 11:19 GMT, Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Credit firm denies Glopespan airline claims

Globespan aircraft
Administrators were called in by Globespan last week

The boss of the online transactions company linked to the collapse of the Globespan airline has defended his company's position.

Elias Elia, chief executive of E-Clear, told the Travel Weekly trade publication that his firm was not responsible for the airline's collapse.

He said he was getting on "extremely well" with administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

E-Clear handled online credit and debit transactions for the airline.

Mr Elia is under pressure from the administrators to place £35m in a joint bank account.

It is claimed E-Clear owed Edinburgh-based Globespan that sum when administrators were called in last Wednesday.

If E-Clear was not in existence, a lot of travel companies would not be trading now
Elias Elia
E-Clear

But the company boss declined to comment and said he was confident of a positive outcome from his talks with PwC.

Mr Elia said the collapse last Friday of one of his own companies, Allbury Travel, was due to the surrender of its ATOL industry licence.

He said this was "strategic" and nothing to do with E-Clear, but declined to explain to the travel trade journal what he meant by that.

About £15m of the disputed money was for tickets on flights that were yet to take off, but more than half of it was for flights in the past.

Joint administrator Bruce Cartwright has highlighted that as his main concern in winding up Globespan's affairs and has said talks with E-Clear were progressing slowly.

On Friday, an E-Clear spokesman said the amount of money was being disputed with Globespan and it was being legitimately withheld.

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond has called for a regulatory probe into the role of the E-Clear in the collapse of Globespan.

'Severe trouble'

Mr Elia, who has not previously commented on the Globespan claims, told Travel Weekly it was "absolutely not true" that E-Clear had been responsible for its grounding.

He is quoted as saying: "We help a lot of companies. If E-Clear was not in existence, a lot of travel companies would not be trading now.

"E-Clear stands in when a company is in severe trouble. It enables them to trade for a longer period of time. There are a lot of companies we are helping domestically, internationally and in Europe."

Mr Elia denied the downturn had put a strain on E-Clear's business model and said its failure to meet the deadline to submit last year's results to Companies House was not unusual.

"Filing accounts late is no reflection on the finances of a business," he told Travel Weekly. "We did the same thing last year and the year before. We have a strong balance sheet and we are comfortable with where we are."



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Plea over airline's credit money
21 Dec 09 |  Scotland
Salmond calls for Globespan probe
19 Dec 09 |  Scotland
Failed airline 'badly let down'
18 Dec 09 |  Scotland
Airline's collapse strands 4,500
17 Dec 09 |  Scotland
Anger at airline staff treatment
17 Dec 09 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific