Goldtrail collapse court papers list defendants linked to Meridian failure

Goldtrail collapse court papers list defendants linked to Meridian failure

Travel Weekly can today reveal new claims relating to the failure of Goldtrail Travel in 2010 and the involvement of former directors of Meridian Aviation, which ceased trading last week.

Newly-released court documents detail a claim in the High Court against six defendants by Goldtrail Travel’s liquidator PricewaterhouseCooper.

The papers identify the defendants as Abdulkadir Aydin, sole director of Goldtrail at the time it went into administration, Turkish airline Onur Air, investment firm Black Pearl Investments and three directors of Black Pearl: Philip Wyatt, Magnus Stephensen and Halldor Sigurdarson.

Goldtrail was put into administration in July 2010 with debts of £2.3 million. Its failure cost the Air Travel Trust, which pays out to consumers, £20 million.

The claim against Aydin, whom the High Court disqualified as a company director in May after hearing he had transferred more than £10 million to himself and members of his family in the run-up to Goldtrail’s collapse, is for more than £4 million.

Wyatt, Stephensen, Sigurdarson and Black Pearl are subject to a £1.4 million claim, which they contest. The claim against Onur Air is for £3.64 million.

Wyatt and Sigurdarson were until recently directors of Meridian Aviation, which operated as a flight broker from an office near Gatwick and sold seats on Lithuania-based Small Planet Airlines.

Sigurdarson was appointed chief financial officer of Small Planet Airlines in May this year. He was previously a director along with Wyatt and Stephensen at XL Airways, which failed in September 2008 at a cost of £89 million.

Meridian Aviation is different from a another company with which it shares an address at Gatwick and a similar name, Meridian Aviation UK Ltd.

This is the parent of a high-end London Japanese restaurant called Wabi and lists Wyatt and Andre Cachia as its directors.

Wabi, which fell into administration in June, was located on Kingsway in Lincoln's Inn Field almost immediately opposite the offices of the Civil Aviation Authority.

Travel Weekly sister title Caterer and Hotelkeeper reported that Cachia was one of the business partners in the restaurant that failed amid a bitter dispute between its owners.

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