Bruce Cartwright, Graham Frost and Ian Oakley-Smith at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) have been appointed as joint administrators to Scottish travel firm, The Globespan Group plc and Alba Ground Handling Ltd (‘the Group’) at the request of the Globespan directors on December 16.It is likely that other Group companies, including the airline which operated as Flyglobespan, will be placed into administration today. Flight operations ceased from yesterday evening. The Group employs approximately 800 people and operates a fleet of 10 aircraft.
The Group is in contact with approximately 5,000 passengers who are expecting to travel to and from foreign destinations during the coming few days1. They are being advised to contact the Group helpline to receive updated advice.
The call centre numbers are: 0871 271 9000 for UK calls +44 141 332 3233 for those calling from Europe.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will be responsible for the repatriation of those who have booked flights as part of a Globespan package holiday as this is covered by the Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing (ATOL) scheme. Passengers who booked through a travel agent are advised to contact that agent in the first instance. Customers who booked Flyglobespan flights directly with the Group via the website or the call centre will not be protected. However, those who paid with a credit or debit card are advised to contact their card issuer.
Bruce Cartwright, joint administrator and head of business recovery services at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in Scotland, said: “Despite difficult trading conditions, the company has successfully implemented a number of steps to refine operations and focus on core profitable business. Unfortunately a lack of confidence in the sector following the demise of other airlines resulted in a reduction of liquidity to fund the ongoing operations.
“The directors have sought to overcome this lack of liquidity by seeking additional funding from a third party in recent weeks but this has ultimately been unsuccessful. The Directors have therefore concluded with regret that the business can no longer continue to operate.
“Unfortunately I am obliged to confirm that, the Group will not longer be able to operate flights. Our focus right now is on assisting those passengers who need to complete return journeys and communicating with those who have future reservations.
“We would strongly advise those passengers who had expected to travel tomorrow to remain at home or make alternative arrangements as there is no prospect of their planned flight taking place.”
The administrators also confirmed today (16 December) that with regret, the majority of the workforce would be made redundant. A small number will be retained to help wind down the company and the details of this are being finalised.
Bruce Cartwright added: “We are acutely aware of the distress this situation will cause those travellers who are currently abroad, as well as the impact on those holiday makers who have booked travel for later this year or 2010.
“Over the coming days we will be focusing our efforts on ensuring Globespan customers have all the information they require to both return home or to determine the next steps in terms of whether or not they can secure refunds.”