FlyGlobespan 'owed £30m by credit card firm'

Collapsed airline's administrators make 550 staff redundant

Administrators dealing with the winding up of airline FlyGlobespan are investigating why a "significant" amount of money from credit card bookings has not been paid to Globespan. The sum, thought to be between £30m and £35m, has been held by payment-processing firm E-Clear, which handled Globespan's credit card transactions. It is believed to be about double the amount needed to be paid to credit card customers whose flights were cancelled before they took off.

Bruce Cartwright, of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), which has been called to manage the administration, wouldn't say whether the amount being held by E-Clear contributed to the airline's collapse, and said his immediate priority was getting people home. PwC made 550 Globespan staff redundant yesterday, retaining 100 to deal with the winding up of operations.

It is believed the money withheld may have been for flights yet to take off. When airlines XL and Zoom collapsed last year, the insurance industry made it much more expensive for credit card companies to cover that insurance cost. Since then, delays in payment have become more common as a means of insuring tickets.

Several airlines mounted an emergency operation yesterday to repatriate about 4,500 holidaymakers left stranded by the collapse. Ryanair and easyJet offered discount fares and laid on extra services from Spain, Portugal, Cyprus and Egypt.

Many more Globespan staff left overseas in India, the Middle East and Ascension Island are slowly being repatriated. Some 60 staff in Delhi have been given free flights home by Virgin, while Air Italy has temporarily taken over Globespan's "air bridge" flights for British troops based in the Falkland Islands.

Globespan also had a special contract to shuttle Muslim pilgrims between Delhi in India and Saudi Arabia. Some of the airline's female crew are thought to be stranded in Saudi Arabia, and will face tight restrictions on where they are allowed to go.

There were chaotic scenes at Scottish airports yesterday as many Globespan passengers arrived to find their flights cancelled.

Gino Giannico, 75, and wife, June, 77, a retired couple from Dundee, had paid £1,600 for a package holiday to Alicante but had not heard of Globespan's collapse. "I'm blazing mad. They've obviously not just known about this yesterday – they must have known earlier," said Mr Giannico.

The Civil Aviation Authority has guaranteed to repatriate the 1,100 people who bought Globespan package holidays under an industry scheme. The 3,500 others who bought flights online will have to buy new tickets home and recoup their lost money from their credit card companies.

Fiona Farmer, the regional officer for Flyglobespan with the Unite union, said: "We are in urgent discussion with the receivers on this issue."

PwC advised Globespan customers to call new helpline numbers 0141 332 3233 or 0131 466 7612.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
filmPoldark production team claims innocence of viewers' ab frenzy
Life and Style
Google marks the 81st anniversary of the Loch Ness Monster's most famous photograph
techIt's the 81st anniversary of THAT iconic photograph
News
Katie Hopkins makes a living out of courting controversy
people
News
General Election
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Guru Careers: Pricing Analyst

£30 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst with experienc...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Ashdown Group: Sales Team Leader - Wakefield, West Yorkshire

£21000 - £24000 per annum: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged b...

Ashdown Group: Head of Client Services - City of London, Old Street

£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders