The UK-based budget tour operator Holidays 4 UK has gone into administration with more than 13,000 British holidaymakers who used the company currently abroad. Around 50,000 customers were due to travel with the company over the summer.
Holidays 4 UK specialised in flights and packages to Turkey and have a turnover of £35m. The company did enjoy improved fortunes last year when a rival Turkish budget holiday operator went bust, but has suffered from poor trading results in recent months.
Ian Oakley-Smith of administrators Pricewaterhouse Coopers said: "The company has suffered because of the difficulties faced by the travel industry during 2010 and 2011, as a result of the economic downturn. The director has determined that the business is no longer able to trade and placed the company into administration."
All customers who are currently abroad are expected to be able to complete their holidays and return home on their arranged flights. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will be responsible for getting customers home so long as they booked their holiday as part of a package.
The CAA said it was trying to ensure that all Holiday 4 UK holidaymakers in Turkey who were covered by the Air Travel Organisers' Licensing (ATOL) consumer protection scheme would be able to stay in their accommodation until they are due to travel home.
It said: "If customers are asked to pay again for accommodation, they should send a claim to the CAA on their return home so that a refund can be considered."
It added that all Holidays 4 UK holiday bookings and flights were now cancelled and customers should not go to UK departure airports.
ATOL scheme spokesman David Clover told the Press Association: "There is never a good time for a travel firm to fail; unfortunately the height of summer is the worst possible time. However people who booked AROL-protected holidays with Holidays 4U who are currently abroad will be able to complete their holiday or claim a refund from the CAA. We would always advise people to check with their holiday company that their booking is protected by ATOL."