Agents say the winding down of Funway Holidays at the end of September will leave a “massive hole” in the US and Caribbean market.

The operator, which specialised in breaks to the US, Mexico and the Caribbean, is to cease trading on September 30 after 27 years as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Debbie Wellman, travel consultant at Mariner Travel in Lymm, Cheshire, had two Florida bookings affected. She said: “The staff have always been very helpful and the prices were good.

“It’s really sad what’s happening to good tour operators at the moment. There are quite a few US operators, but losing Funway will leave a massive hole.”

Wellman explained that Funway had commercial deals with Tui to get seats on its aircraft flying transatlantic, and the same with Thomas Cook before it collapsed last year – which made it easier to find customers the best flights.

Graeme Brett, owner of Westoe Travel in Tyne and Wear, said: “Funway had some great US offers especially for New York and Las Vegas with their connections to hotels in the US.

“It is really sad to see another operator go through circumstances that could not have been predicted and they have no control over. Good luck to all of the staff and hope to see you all back in travel soon.”

The operator, which has an Atol licence to carry 4,530 passengers a year, said it was contacting all travel agents with bookings.

Funway thanked agents for their support, saying: “While the Funway journey is coming to a close, we hope all of our partners emerge from this crisis and enjoy a prosperous future.”

Vice president and general manager Carla Van Der Giesen said: “We are very thankful for the amazing support we received over the years from our many industry and travel agency partners.”