Flyglobespan shuts down, British Airways’ emergency talks with Unite, Ryanair expands in Spain/Portu


The misery for travellers to, from and within the UK is deepening, with Scotland's largest airline, Flyglobespan calling in the administrators after a last ditch cash call went unheeded from investors.

The failure has left up to 5,000 passengers stranded overseas and will disrupt the travel plans of thousands more booked with the airline over the Christmas/New Year period and beyond. Flyglobespan operated services from Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, as well as trans-Atlantic services from other UK hubs, including Manchester, Gatwick and Belfast. The airline handled over 1.5 million passengers in 2008. Most of the carrier's 800 staff have been made redundant.

Customers who booked Flyglobespan services directly via the airline's website or the call centre would not be protected by the ATOL insurance scheme. There are approximately 27,000 bookings covered by the ATOL insurance scheme, and around 90,000 people who have forward bookings but have no ATOL protection. These passengers will have to make alternative travel plans, with Ryanair already announcing discounted fares to stranded Flyglobespan passengers.

British Airways in emergency talks to prevent strike

British Airways and Unite have meanwhile agreed to hold emergency talks later today (17-Dec-2009) to try to resolve their dispute and avoid a planned strike by cabin crews that are scheduled to commence next Monday (22-Dec-2009).

Earlier British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, urged (16-Dec-2009) both sides to enter fresh talks to avoid the potential for "huge disruption" to the travelling public. BA has asked the High Court to rule on the legality of Monday's vote by cabin crews to embark on the 12-day strike. A ruling is expected today (17-Dec-2009).

British Airways' shares were virtually flat yesterday, while easyJet rose 0.2%. Ryanair fell 1.1% as it announced details of its planned 38th and 39th bases in Malaga (Spain) and Faro (Portugal), respectively - under its 'lower charging airports/countries' strategy.

Europe selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 16-Dec-09

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