Ailing MyTravel loses another top executive

MyTravel, the tour operator struggling with huge debts and sluggish sales, yesterday said Philip Jansen, its chief operating officer, had resigned to join the catering group Sodexho Alliance.

The travel company posted an interim pre-tax loss of £200m last month and said its difficulties in the UK were continuing as many of its customers were holding off from booking holidays until the last minute.

Mr Jansen's departure after less than two years follows a string of high-profile exits since the group warned its profits were sliding in 2002. Seven executives, including two finance directors, a chief executive and a chairman, have left in that time.

MyTravel said it would not replace Mr Jansen but would instead divide the business by geographical regions. Peter McHugh, the group's chief executive, will take responsibility for the UK until an appointment is made.

Mr Jansen will step down from the board immediately, but will remain at the group until the end of September. He will then become head of Sodexho's UK and Ireland division.

In marked contrast to My Travel's experiences, Carnival, the cruise ship operator that merged with P&O Princess last year, said its Q2 profits had soared 167 per cent.