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Northern Ireland holidaymakers stuck at home after travel firm collapses

Holidaymakers due to jet out of Northern Ireland were left stranded today after a British tour operator collapsed.

Greece and Turkey specialist Goldtrail Travel Ltd went into administration yesterday afternoon with around 16,000 people overseas.

A flight scheduled to leave from Belfast International Airport this morning was among the cancellations.

The Civil Aviation Authority said it was making arrangements to fly customers home at the end of their holiday under its ATOL (Air Travel Organiser's Licensing) scheme.

In a statement issued on its website last night, the aviation regulator said: “The CAA has taken steps to protect customers booked with Goldtrail Travel Limited after the company ceased trading this evening.”

The majority of flights home from Turkey will operate as normal, the CAA said.

However, holidaymakers in Greece were warned to expect changes to flights and are advised to check with representatives at local airports.

The CAA said there were no more outbound Goldtrail flights and advised customers due to fly with the failed operator to check with their travel agent before leaving for the airport.

The Independent’s travel editor, Simon Calder, said the CAA had been working “through the night” to get alternative flights home arranged.

Among those affected was Martin Plimmer, who purchased flights through a company which used Goldtrail.

He told the BBC that he was given no choice but to purchase new flights, or risk losing the all-inclusive accommodation which had been purchased through a different company

Aviation and media expert Julian Bray said the failure was not on the scale of the XL collapse in September 2008 which left 60,000 holidaymakers stranded abroad.

But he warned customers may face a wait to get their money back.

Goldtrail customers can call the CAA on 0203 4410846 for information.

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