Agents advised to rebook as Wings Abroad seeks new owners

Agents advised to rebook as Wings Abroad seeks new owners

Agents who have bookings with Turkey specialist Wings Abroad are being told to rebook with another operator as the owner attempts to sell the company.

The operator said it was in talks with three potential buyers.

A potential sale fell through at the end of March. That buyer is understood to have backed out because of a change of heart on the potential of the UK market, not because of the terms of the deal.

Wings Abroad has not renewed its Atol licence and has not traded since March 29. It hopes to restart trading once a buyer is secured.

About 65% to 75% of Wings Abroad’s sales are through the trade. Agents are now being contacted and offered refunds.

Consultant Chris Mansell, acting as company spokesman, said: “The reason we are doing this is in case something goes wrong. We are giving agents an opportunity to get it sorted out now.” Mansell would not divulge who owned the company.

The operator had planned for a capacity of 8,000 to 10,000 passengers in 2012 but admitted 2011 had been “exceptionally challenging”.

Mansell said: “The owner wants to sell it because he doesn’t feel the potential is as good as it should be. He has lots of other interests and wants to focus on them.”

Mansell conceded the company’s reputation could be affected, but said: “Every day that goes by people will be thinking that there must be a financial reason for this, but there is not.”

Greece specialist Planet Holidays has also yet to renew its Atol licence since the April 1 renewal deadline.

It remains in talks with the Civil Aviation Authority and is currently taking only accommodation-only and wedding-only bookings via its website.

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