Turbulence ahead for E-Clear

Fears are growing over problems at the credit card processing company E-Clear, which processes credit card payments for a number of airlines and travel firms operating in the UK, including Flyglobespan.

Sources close to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the airline industry regulator, have privately voiced concerns over E-Clear which could have knock-on effects on the the rest of the airline industry.

Flyglobespan, the Edinburgh-based budget airline, is believed to be ready to pursue E-Clear over payments it is due to receive from the payment processor. The airline was named by bookie Paddy Power last year as the UK carrier most likely to go bust, but it has since proved its doubters wrong. A spokesman for Flyglobespan declined to comment.

In July, E-Clear's chief executive, Elias Elia said it was reassessing its involvement in the "risky" travel industry.

An E-Clear spokesman said: "We are in a strong financial position. I am not aware of any financial problems and I am not aware of any external orders."