I've just been onto their website, and unsurprisingly, they have suspended all operations.
News and Comment
July 26, 2005
Budget airline collapse leaves thousands stranded
by Steve Keenan, Online Travel Editor
Thousands of passengers were stranded at airports in eight countries across Europe today after the parent company of a UK budget airline collapsed and filed for voluntary administration
The Irish-owned EUjet had been flying for less than a year from Kent International airport in Manston before its flights were suspended a day after trading in its parent company’s shares was halted.
Thousands more will have to buy tickets to get back to the UK, while the collapse will also affect the holiday plans of 50,000 people booked to travel.
Only two planes took off from Manston, near Ramsgate, this morning before all further services were cancelled.
Yesterday’s suspension of share trading came after bankers said they were unable to support additional finance for EUjet owners PlaneStation, which has been operating the airline since September, 2004. The firm runs four Fokker 100 aircraft and flies to 18 destinations from Manston, including Edinburgh, Newcastle, Manchester and Malaga in southern Spain.
PlaneStation said yesterday that EUjet passenger numbers would fall below planned levels this year and this
would lead to a greater cash requirement for the airline. It added that discussions with its bank over the past few days had “not been positive” and the bank had said it was no
longer able to support the company.
Scores of passengers were left waiting at Kent International while more passengers are stuck at airports in the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and British cities like Belfast, Edinburgh and Newcastle after incoming flights were also suspended.
The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) said clients with future bookings - of which there could be in excess of 50,000 - were unlikely to receive any form of refund unless they had used a credit card and paid more than £100.
ABTA President Martin Wellings said: “ABTA has been lobbying for many years for consumer protection to be extended to cover the failure of scheduled airlines and this failure regrettably underlines the need for Government to extend this protection urgently. This failure is very frustrating and disappointing for travellers hoping to enjoy a well-earned and stress-free holiday."
Consumers are only guaranteed full protection if they book a flight or a holiday through an ATOL bonded supplier - and only just over half of British travellers flying internationally are now covered by the ATOL scheme.
ABTA alongside other travel organisations have been lobbying the Government to modernise consumer protection by supporting the Civil Aviation's proposal of
introducing a £1 levy on all flights in and out of the UK. The levy would top up the Air Travel Trust fund - used to repatriate or refund customers - which has been in the red for more than a decade, although underwritten by the government.
The fund is run by the Air Travel Insolvency Protection Committee. The chairman, John Cox, said on July 15 : “The Committee has pressed Government for 12 years for legislation to provide a levy to replenish the Air Travel Trust Fund and it is very pleased that a Bill is now before Parliament.
“However, we continue to have very serious concerns about the growing proportion of leisure trips that fall outside ATOL and where the consumer is now unprotected. Consumers are confused and many believe they are covered when they are not.
“Action is urgently required to extend protection to cover all UK-originating air travel. This would increase consumer confidence, provide easier market entry and the development of new small businesses”.
During the year, the Air Travel Trust paid £508,000 in loan interest and £540,000 on new failures. At the year end the Trust had a deficit of £10.6 million.
[Edited 2005-07-26 19:58:00]
[Edited 2005-07-26 20:09:39]