Holiday nightmare for travellers as flyglobespan goes bust

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By Michael MacLeod

THOUSANDS of passengers and 600 staff were facing a nightmare last night after a Scots airline went bust.

Edinburgh based operator flyglobespan – which only days earlier predicted a bright future of expansion and new investment – was in talks with administrators PriceCooperWaterhouse.

Many staff had been told not to turn up for work today (Thursday), online bookings were no longer available and calls to desks in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen were left ringing unanswered.

Suppliers too were left in the dark while even airports themselves were unable to confirm what was happening.

Reports broke at around 5.30pm stating that the troubled Scottish firm had been grounded by financial trouble.

Around 5,000 passengers are thought to have been affected.

Among the last in-bound flights due back to Britain was flight GSM 572 which was due to arrive in Edinburgh at 9.50pm last night.

“No staff”

There were no staff at the flyglobespan desk to confirm if that would still happen with the post abandoned and computers switched off.

A spokesperson for Edinburgh Airport said the two flights leaving the airport this morning (Thursday) were still on schedule.

Flyglobespan’s planes are due to jet out to Faro at 9am and Alicante at 11am.

A spokesman said: “At this moment there has been no official announcement by Globespan.

“We wouldn’t wish to comment further until we hear directly from them.

“There are two flights tomorrow which are still scheduled.”

The firm has been flying for 35 years and operates out of five British airports.

Little cheer

Their main source of income is from winter sun holidays and family traffic to Canada.

On Monday Flyglobespan founder Tom Dalrymple predicted “good news” of an imminent funding deal.

The chairman was reported as saying he was verging on the conclusion of a major funding deal.

He said: “This is good news for the company, our customers and our staff.”

But last night there seemed little to cheer for anyone planning a holiday or flight home.

The airline was founded in November 2002 under call sign GSM and flying to some 24 destinations at its peak including Canada, Faro, Egypt and Alicante.

Its first flights left from airports at Prestwick and Edinburgh in April 2003 using two Boeing 737-300 aircraft as part of the Globespan tour operator which has been trading for around 30 years.

It introduced domestic flights between Scotland and London in 2005 but pulled out of the already crowded low cost market a year later.

Instead it concentrated on routes to the Canadian and US markets, but again ran into trouble when it lost its ‘Skytrax’ rating in 2007 because of “product and service inconsistency”.

Only last year Dalrymple was voted one of Scotland’s most successful entrepreneurs by Management Today Magazine.

He left school aged 16 to begin work with Mackays Travel Agency in Edinburgh.

He left in 1974 to set up a breakaway firm – The Globespan Group.

Flyglobespan then followed in 2002 building up a fleet on 10 aircraft, with several more on order.

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