Tour firm Freedom Direct Holidays collapses
Holiday chiefs were today working on plans to help thousands of British tourists hit by the collapse of online tour operator and travel agent Freedom Direct Holidays.
The Newcastle-based company ceased trading yesterday after running into financial difficulties.
Freedom Direct had financial cover as it was a full member of travel organisation Abta.
In addition, all holidays booked until the end of last month were covered by the Air Travel Organisers' Licensing (ATOL) system run by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
The company specialised in trips to the Mediterranean, Turkey and the Canary Islands and also organised some cruises.
It is not known how many UK holidaymakers who booked with the company are currently abroad and the CAA was working with the company today to help those affected.
All those covered by the company's ATOL bond should be able to continue their holidays and be flown home.
Similarly, those who have booked future trips will be financially covered.
Peter Hutchinson, 56, of Hull, was due to travel to Egypt in two weeks with his wife.
He told The Sun: "The holiday cost us £1,400. I'm hoping we've enough time to re-arrange the trip and hopefully get our money back."
In a message on the company's website, Freedom Direct's chief executive Martin Jones advised affected customers to contact the CAA or Abta.
He said: "We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused to our customers and to thank the many people who have booked holidays with us over the last 12 years."