Page last updated at 17:09 GMT, Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Thousands of Globespan customers may only get 5% back

Flyglobespan plane
Flyglobespan was grounded in December last year

Thousands of customers owed money by failed airline Flyglobespan may only get 5% of their fares back.

Flyglobespan, which was Scotland's largest airline, went bust last year, along with the Globespan travel agency.

About 40,000 people, including hundreds of staff, were owed money or were left with worthless tickets.

PricewaterhouseCoopers said customers who paid by credit card or Visa debit could claim compensation but up to 8,000 others may receive just 5%.

The administrators for the airline outlined the situation to creditors during a two-hour meeting at the Caledonian Hotel in Edinburgh.

Around 80% have either claimed or are entitled to claim their money back through consumer credit regulations or Visa debit protection cover
Bruce Cartwright

Customers using credit cards and Visa debit were protected and can claim money back. About £12m has already been recovered through consumer protection schemes.

The average amount repaid was between £350 to £400.

Hundreds of suppliers, from newsagents to hotel chains, are also still waiting for their bills to be paid, as are some of the staff who lost their jobs.

Many who were on agency contracts have not been fully paid.

Bruce Cartwright, from PricewaterhouseCoopers, said: "We can confirm that in terms of individual members of the public who had booked travel with the firm and our creditors, around 80% have either claimed or are entitled to claim their money back through consumer credit regulations or Visa debit protection cover."

He said there was up to £3m in outstanding payments still to be repaid to other affected creditors.

Customers who were not covered by protection, known as "unsecured creditors", can only expect to receive about 5p back in every pound spent.

Online transactions

PricewaterhouseCoopers are still trying to recover money from E-Clear, the company which had been handling Globespan's online transactions.

It had been withholding £34m from the airline.

Administrators for E-Clear are still trying to find a total of nearly £100m left owing when it was also forced out of business.

Flyglobespan, which was based in Edinburgh, collapsed in December.

When it went bust an estimated 3,400 holidaymakers were left stranded in Spain, Portugal, Cyprus and Egypt.

PricewaterhouseCoopers said it would take up to two years to process all the Flyglobespan claims and called for better regulations to protect customers in future business failures.

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