As Britain's busiest week of the year for outbound holidaymakers gets under way, the first significant travel-company collapse of the summer has taken place.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announced: "Travel Click Ltd trading as www.travelclickholidays.co.uk has ceased trading with immediate effect".
Travel Click had been running for five years from premises in Enfield, north London. The company advertised "Luxury holidays to Dubai, Vegas, Florida, Cyprus, Greece and worldwide". But most of its business involved putting together no-frills flights to Mediterranean destinations with discounted hotel accommodation. Some of the holidays were sold through promotional websites such as Travelzoo and Secret Escapes.
The firm's annual turnover was thought to be around £500,000, which translates at around 1,000 holidaymakers. Most of the customers affected bought package holidays that are protected by the CAA's ATOL scheme. Those abroad should be able to continue their holidays as normal, while people with future bookings for inclusive packages should be able to reclaim the cost of their holidays. With plenty of packages for this summer still unsold, they should be able to find alternatives easily - though they will have to pay again while they wait for a refund.
The outlook for customers of Travel Click who had bought flight-only or accommodation-only deals is less clear. A leading travel-industry figure, David Speakman of Travel Counsellors, criticised consumer-protection rules as confusing: "Customers believe that when they see the Atol logo they are covered for everything the company sells, but they aren't. The system is too complex."
Travel Click Ltd appeared, alongside around 50 other companies on a list of "late-renewing ATOL holders" issued in April by the CAA's Consumer Protection Group.