Greece-based online travel agency Tripsta has accused global distribution system (GDS) Travelport of “malicious behaviour” after the OTA suspended the sale and issue of airline tickets at the end of June.

Tripsta claimed it had ceased trading “temporarily” after falling behind with payments through airline association Iata’s billing and settlement plan (BSP).

The OTA said it had negotiated a “repayment agreement” with Iata following problems with its cash flow which Tripsta blamed on “certain partners”.

A media report in Greece described the company’s debt to the BSP as “massive”.

In a statement, Tripsta said it would initiate legal proceedings “due to [the] malicious and abusive behaviour of Travelport”.

Travelport rejected the claim, saying: “We firmly deny any wrongdoing in our dealings with Tripsta and will vigorously defend ourselves in the event that any legal proceedings are initiated.”

Tripsta operates in more than 40 markets and is a significant player in Greece where it reportedly accounts for about 35% of BSP transactions.

In 2017, the company reported transaction revenue of €500 million and more than one million sales.

It was set up in 2005 as Travelplanet24 and established Tripsta in 2010, acquiring OTA rival Airtickets in 2015.

Tripsta employed about 300 staff at locations in Athens and Bucharest. It has reportedly cut its staff to 40.