Quarter of stranded XL tourists return as new travel firm shuts

More than 22,000 of the 85,000 passengers stranded overseas following the collapse of XL are expected to return home today as the biggest modern emergency airlift continues.

The arrangements were revealed as it was announced yesterday that a second British tour operator had gone bust just two days after the demise of XL, Britain's third-largest holiday company. K&S Holidays ceased trading late on Saturday night, leaving 150 passengers stuck in Bodrum, Turkey. A further 460 passengers who had booked holidays with the north London firm will see their travel plans dashed.

And the airline industry's woes deepened further still as the Italian flagship carrier Alitalia announced it could be forced to ground flights from today after admitting it was running out of money to buy fuel. The company is said to be operating at a loss of more than £700,000 per day.

The repatriation of 22,090 XL customers to Britain was the only piece of good news for the aviation world. The CAA revealed it had arranged 94 flights to bring home passengers stranded in 28 airports across Europe and America. Another 50,000 are expected to be returned home when their holidays end. The planes have been provided by other airlines. However, 10,000 who booked flights only will have to make their own way back.

Many customers were still stranded in airports. Victoria Millington, 25, from London, arrived at Dalaman airport, Turkey, unaware XL had gone out of business. She said: "We arrived to check in and couldn't see our flight on the board. We cast around to find the desk and then asked airport security. The man shrugged and said 'XL finish'."

She added that no one was at the airport to help passengers. "It's as if they're trying to ignore the whole thing," she said. "Sweep it under the carpet." Gary and Julie Tappin paid £3,000 to fly their wedding party back from Dalaman. "We had no choice," Gary said. "We've got babies and elderly relatives to get home."

The CAA announced that K&S Travel, which also trades under the name Travel Turkey, had informed the flight regulators on Saturday night that it was to cease trading. The firm organised package tours to Turkey on flights chartered from Onur Air. The CAA said holidaymakers were covered by the Atol protection scheme, and it was re-chartering planes from Onur to minimise disruption.

Italy's government was locked in talks with the unions last night to push through a rescue deal for Alitalia as fears intensified for the company. Its collapse would be embarrassing for Silvio Berlusconi, who promised in his campaign for re-election that he would save it. On Saturday he said: "We're holding our breath."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
News
Rob Lowe
peopleRob Lowe hits out at Obama's snub of Benjamin Netanyahu
Sport
football
News
Davies (let) says: 'Everybody thought we were having an affair. It was never true!'
people'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Arts and Entertainment
Over their 20 years, the band has built a community of dedicated followers the world over
music
News
Staff assemble outside the old City Road offices in London
mediaThe stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century at Britain's youngest paper
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
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.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Old Royal Naval College: ORNC Visitor Experience Volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary work: Old Royal Naval College: Join our team of friendly volu...

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Service / Sales Assistant

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This airport parking organisation are looking...

    Recruitment Genius: PCV Bus Drivers

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Do you enjoy bus driving and are looking for ...

    Ashdown Group: IT Support Technician - York

    £18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Support Technician - Y...

    Day In a Page

    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
    Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

    Growing mussels

    Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
    Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

    Diana Krall interview

    The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
    Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

    Pinstriped for action

    A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
    Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

    Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

    'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

    Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

    Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
    Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us