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Holiday firm Air Parade goes bust

Hundreds of holidaymakers' plans have been wrecked following the collapse of a travel firm specialising in villa-based holidays.

Huddersfield-based Air Parade, which traded as Luxury Villa Escapes and Villa Parade - ceased trading yesterday. It mainly sold packages to Spain and Portugal.

The Association of British Travel Agents (Abta) estimates the firm has up to 70 customers currently abroad but said their holidays should go ahead as normal.

Abta said the company has a round 1,300 bookings for future holidays with villa accommodation only. These will be cancelled, although customers will get their money back via Abta's financial protection scheme.

It also has a round 400 forward bookings for flight packages which will also be cancelled, with refunds paid via the Air Travel Organisers' Licence scheme.

Villa Parade's website has been replaced with a page featuring the message: " Air Parade Ltd, trading as Villa Parade and Luxury Villa Escapes has ceased trading with immediate effect.

"If you have booked a holiday which includes a flight, then please visit the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) website. If your booking does not involve a flight booked with Villa Parade, then you will need to contact Abta."

The firm has been locked in a legal battle with the holiday rentals firm Travelopo. The dispute is centred on contracts for villas on Majorca.

Details of the dispute emerged after some Villa Parade customers received emails from Travelopo telling them their villa bookings were not valid.

Last month, the firm issued statements assuring customers the majority of bookings were "secure and will be fulfilled".

Abta had also been investigating the spat but the association said this inquiry would stop now the company had failed.

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