Flyglobespan was “badly let down” by credit-card processing company E-Clear, according to Scottish finance minister John Swinney.
The airline, which entered administration on Wednesday, would have had a better chance of survival if it had been paid the £34 million it was owed, the MSP told the Scottish press.
Swinney said £20m of this sum was for passengers who had already flown and added it was “beyond dispute” the money should have been in Flyglobespan’s bank account.
Swinney said there were “massive issues” about the way E-Clear conducted its business. “If it had passed on to Flyglobespan the money that the company was entitled to have from members of the travelling public, who had flown and who had landed again and there was no risk about their tickets, Flyglobespan would have had a better chance of survival.”
He said: “This company has been badly let down by the fact that a private company, handling bookings on its behalf, has not been paid money that it was due. That is the inescapable commercial reality of what has been faced here.
“The key issue is about making sure that in the private market companies honour their commitments.”
Bruce Cartwright, who works for the administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers, said yesterday he would look into why the money was not passed on.