FLEETWAY Travel holiday firm has gone bust in a blow for 6,500 holidaymakers with booked trips.

The tour operator plunged into administration just days after Brits could travel abroad again following 45 years in business.

No travellers are abroad at this time according to the CAA and there are approximately 6,500 affected Atol-protected bookings to be refunded.

Atol is a Civil Aviation Authority scheme to give financial protection to people who purchased package holidays and flights from a member tour operator.

Atol head Andy Cohen said: “We understand this will be concerning news for anyone who has booked to travel with the company or has had their booking cancelled. It is a sad day for the industry when a long-established business like Fleetway ceases trading.

“However, the Atol scheme exists for exactly this kind of situation and we are making arrangements so all Atol protected customers may make a claim.”

Thousands more travellers are seeking refunds from Fleetway for holidays that had been cancelled during the coronavirus pandemic.

The company had recommended customers contact their travel insurer, rebook their trip or accept a “refund credit note” entitling them to rebook a holiday at a future date or receive a cash refund at a later date.

The company employed 85 staff across offices in London and Sheffield.

It also traded under the names of Exclusive Luxury Breaks, Explorer’s Collection, Late Bargains, Luxury Holiday Collection, Phone & Fly, Sail Away, Silversurfers Holidays and Travelsmart.

It comes just a week after Funway Holidays said it would close on 30 September due to the "severe" impact of coronavirus pandemic.

All holidays departing on or after September 1st are now cancelled and no new bookings or re-bookings will be accepted.

A firm statement said: “We would like to say a huge thank you to all of our wonderful agent partners.

“While the Funway journey is coming to a close, we hope all of our partners emerge from this crisis and enjoy a most prosperous future.”

All Refund Credit Notes will be paid in cash and all deposits or payments received on live bookings will be refunded in full.

The tourism industry has been devastated by the coronavirus lockdown.

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