Page last updated at 15:56 GMT, Wednesday, 10 September 2008 16:56 UK

Budget holiday company goes bust

Seguro website
Seguro sold mainly through travel agents

A firm which runs budget package holidays has gone into administration leaving almost 2,500 holidaymakers wondering how they will get home.

Cheshire-based Seguro Holidays, which flies from airports in Kent and Prestwick in Ayrshire, blamed its troubles on Spanish airline Futura.

Futura, which operated 80% of its flights, has launched insolvency proceedings, citing high fuel costs.

Those already abroad will need to wait for alternative flights to be found.

A further 17,253 people had made advance bookings with Seguro.

The operator, based in Macclesfield, operated package holidays and flights to Spain, the Canaries and Portugal.

Seguro, which also traded as Seguro Holidays and Kent Escapes, sold mainly through travel agents.

In a statement released by the firm, directors Rachel Elliott and Richard Burke said: "Futura's collapse was totally unexpected as an airline with over 30 planes, having a good reputation and being one of Spain's respected airlines.

Clients in resorts will remain in their accommodation until alternative return flights are sourced
Seguro statement
"After 10 years flying from Glasgow Prestwick Airport and great support from travel agents and clients, we offer our sincere apologies and are very sad to have had to make this decision, but we were left with no alternative."

The firm's website has been taken offline and has been replaced by a statement which reads: "Seguro Travel Limited and its subsidiary Seguro Aviation Limited which trade under the style Seguro Holidays and Kent Escapes ceased trading on 10 September 2008.

"Customers who have booked to travel by air from 10 September onwards should refer to the Civil Aviation Authority website where further advice is given.

"The directors of the company deeply regret the closure of the business which has been brought about by the failure of Futura Airlines last weekend."

The firm flew holidaymakers to resorts in the Algarve, Benidorm, Lanzarote, Majorca and Tenerife.

Stranded clients

Those who have booked a package holiday are likely to be protected by the Air Travel Organisers' Licensing (Atol) system.

Travel companies in the Atol scheme lodge a financial guarantee bond with the Civil Aviation Authority which can be used to bring stranded clients home, and compensate those who have future bookings.

But Seguro said people already on holiday would have to wait until alternative flights were found.

A statement said: "Seguro Holidays are Atol bonded and protected and as such are working with the CAA and [the travel association] Abta to protect both their clients and travel agents.

"Clients in resorts will remain in their accommodation until alternative return flights are sourced, and those who have already booked a future holiday, their money is protected, and they will be able to claim back through the CAA or their credit card companies."

Abta said on its website that it understood there were 2,400 people abroad with Seguro Travel and 17,253 with forward bookings up until the end of summer 2009.

A statement issued by Futura said difficulties in the airline sector, including "the excessive and speculative increase of fuel" had put it "in a very difficult situation from the financial point of view".

The statement said: "Not presenting this request for insolvency proceedings would make complying with our payment obligations with the suppliers impossible."

The development comes two weeks after the Scots-owned transatlantic budget carrier Zoom Airlines went bust.

Telegraph Stranded Seguro tourists struggle to find flights - 16 hrs ago
Guardian Unlimited Holiday firm collapses - 24 hrs ago
The Sun Another one flights the dust - 31 hrs ago
The Scotsman Airline's collapse shuts down another travel firm - 33 hrs ago
Glasgow Herald Scots may be stranded after Seguro holiday firm collapse - 39 hrs ago

Zoom Airlines suspend all flights
28 Aug 08 |  Business
Zoom collapse 'down to creditors'
29 Aug 08 |  Scotland
Travel firm plans airline change
07 Aug 07 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
Problems ground holiday flights
05 Aug 07 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West

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