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."

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
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
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

    Oracle 11g SQL 2008 DBA (Unix, Oracle RAC, Mirroring, Replicati

    £6000 - £50000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: Oracle 11...

    Recruitment Consultant (Graduate Trainee), Finchley Central

    £17K OTE £30K: Charter Selection: Highly successful and innovative specialist...

    SQL DBA/ C# Developer - T-SQL, C#.Net

    £45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Working with an exciting ...

    Sales and Office Administrator – Sports Media

    £23,000: Sauce Recruitment: A global leader in sports and entertainment is now...

    Day In a Page

    Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

    A descent into madness in America's heartlands

    David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
    BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

    BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

    Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
    Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

    Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

    Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
    Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

    Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

    But could his predictions of war do the same?
    Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

    'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

    Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
    Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

    Young at hort

    Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
    Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

    Beyond a joke

    Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
    The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

    The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

    Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
    Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

    A wild night out

    Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
    Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

    Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

    It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
    Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

    Besiktas vs Arsenal

    Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
    Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

    Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

    As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
    Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

    Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

    The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
    Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

    Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

    But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
    Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

    Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

    Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment