Trailfinders today revealed that it has paid out £115 million in refunds for cancelled holidays.
The extent of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the company was disclosed by founder and chairman Mike Gooley.
The scale of pandemic made the 2010 Icelandic volcanic ash cloud “seem like a picnic”.
Gooley said: “Overnight we were faced with a responsibility for repatriating 20,000 clients while simultaneously refunding 30,000 people due to travel in March and April, with more added on a rolling basis.
“The figures, as I write, are that we have processed refunds for 100,000 people totalling £115 million.”
He added that £30 million came from Trailfinders’ reserves to “bridge the gap” for clients, as most airlines and some other suppliers have been slow to refund.
“At the extreme, some airlines have said refunds will take a year and others are in administration,” Gooley added. “TF have covered this shortfall from our own pocket.
“Although being hampered by not having the use of our offices, we have for several days now, been refunding within 14 days of a request – although of course, when these rules were penned, the complete shutdown of all travel could never have been contemplated.
“The scale of the impact on travel caused by the pandemic makes the 2010 volcanic eruption of Eyjafjallajökull seem like a picnic.
“We continue to take bookings for 2020 and 2021, typically with just a 10% deposit and Trailfinders financial protection as standard.”
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