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Have You Lost Your Dream Holiday Today?

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Dear Comrades and Comradies

For the 2nd year in a row travel companies appear to be going bust at the start of the summer, traditionally a solid period where cashflow is good (ie before folks have travelled and hotel/airline disbursements must be paid, while the travel operator holds all the cash). Usually they collapse in the autumn. Given that my own travel industry commissions are a tiny fraction of what they were in prior years and are now at their lowest ever throughout this recession/"recovery" period since 2007, I can see many more firms (that have overheads and leverage, unlike smug me) collapsing soon.

Do post a reply from your Maldives luxury hotel, if you are unlucky enough to be stranded by this collapse, if you get a moment between 4 hand beach massages and pina coladas (which you will now be paying for!):

UPDATED: CAA steps in after Dreamticket.com ceases trading

May 24, 2011 08:00

The collapse of Dreamticket.com parent company Selsdon Travel has left 600 holidaymakers abroad and 4,000 forward bookings, according to the Civil Aviation Authority.

The long haul direct sell operator featured holidays to the Indian Ocean, Middle East, Far East, Africa and Caribbean and held a licence to cover 17,000 passengers. The CAA through the ATOL scheme is making arrangements for people abroad to complete their holidays and return to the UK, and to fully refund those with forward bookings.

Those overseas will be in possession of scheduled airline tickets, which will remain valid. “Passengers are therefore advised to go to the airport as ticketed to return to the UK,” the authority.

But it warned that travellers may be required by the hotels to repay for their stay. “If this is the case, passengers must ensure that they are provided with a clear receipt for the payment, which will be required in order to make a claim for a refund of the payment upon return to the UK,” the CAA said.

Dreamticket.com owner Selsdon Travel has ceased trading yesterday despite promise of investment from a new backer just three months ago. It was reported in March that private equity investor Hatfield Investments had bought a majority shareholding in the long-haul online specialist and call centre.

Selsdon was said to be the first of about 20 travel firms Hatfield was looking to invest in and as part of the deal its chief executive, Levy Benarroch, became chief executive and his wife, Lynne, managing director.

At the time of the deal Benarroch said: “Hatfield Investments will use its expertise in technology, sales and online marketing to catapult Selsdon Travel into the top-20 travel companies in the UK.

“We have a robust strategic plan and, combined with the outstanding skills of all the staff at Dreamticket in Croydon, and other locations, we anticipate a very bright future for Dreamticket.”

Dreamticket’s business development manager, Addas Datoo, son of former chief executive Nazma Datoo, who left as part of the Hatfield deal, said at the time:

“Hatfield Investments will give Dreamticket access to significant additional funding and will allow the company to explore new opportunities and potential acquisitions within the industry.

“We are also excited about the developments that we will be seeing in our technology and marketing strategy as a result of this acquisition.”

The firm is understood to turn over about £35 million and had just under 4,500 forward bookings. In 2008 it was included in the Sunday Times Tech Track 100 that listed the UK’s fastest-growing technology companies.

Dreamticket is the third-biggest UK operator to the Maldives and it specialised in the Indian Ocean and destinations in the Middle East such as Dubai. It was an Atol holder and Abta member and was also an Iata agent.

Dreamticket.com was set up by chief executive Lawrence Hunt, now a director at Lowcost Travel Group, and commercial director Jo Rzymowska, who is now Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s UK general manager. The company ceased operating in 2001 and Selsdon acquired the domain name in 2002.

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If you look at the middle and lower classes many travel with hardly any money. They save up just enough to afford a trip, then go. They don't have any fallback.

Actually a great deal of Brits live their entire life with no extra money.. which is quite stressful because if anything goes wrong they are in for some pain. On the other hand if you have a few hundred k in the bank its annoying when something like this happens, but not stressful. And your stress from day to day is greatly reduced because you don't have to worry about things going wrong.

Of course its easy for me to say because I have a high level of ability to delay gratification.

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Meh. Can't say any of us didn't see most holiday firms go tits up.

On a similar theme, O'leary is raising his rates 12%.

link

Ryanair warns of 12% fare rise over oil prices

BUDGET airline Ryanair has warned that surging oil prices will force average air fares up by 12% in the current financial year, while it will also cut winter capacity for the first time in its history.

The Irish carrier, which has a fleet of 272 planes, expects traffic to grow by 4% to 75 million passengers in the year to March 2012, but all of that growth will occur in the first half of the period.

The two winter quarters will see passenger numbers fall by 2% and 5% respectively as the airline expects to ground 80 planes over the coming winter, including 50 new jets to be delivered by Boeing.

Chief executive Michael O’Leary said the new aircraft will be “parked” at various airports around Europe until general economic conditions improve and there is more visibility on oil prices.

Some UK provincial airports will also see fewer flights, although which will depend on the outcome of negotiations with operators between now and September.

Mr O’Leary said: “The aim is to lose less money in the winter months.”

Ryanair reported a 26% increase in underlying pre-tax profits to 319m euro (£277n) in the year to March 31, but cautioned earnings would be flat in the current year because of the impact of high fuel costs.

Mr O’Leary said the 12% fare increase in the year to March 2012 will only cover an expected rise in the fuel bill of 350m euro (£304m) as the airline’s hedging becomes more expensive.

The company’s fuel bill rose by 37% to 1.2bn euros (£1bn) in the last financial year as average oil prices increased from US$62 a barrel to US$73.

But the group, which operates more than 1,500 flights per day, also added that higher oil prices would lead to “more airlines going broke”, creating further growth opportunities.

Mr O’Leary said: “Higher oil prices will force competitors to continue to increase fares and fuel surcharges, which makes Ryanair’s lower fares even more attractive.

“In many cases, competitors’ fuel surcharges are higher than Ryanair’s lead-in fares. Higher oil prices will lead to further consolidations, increased competitor losses, and more airlines going broke.”

Earlier this month, low-cost rival easyJet reported a near doubling in half-year losses as it battled higher fuel prices.

Ryanair cancelled 14,000 flights in the last financial year due to volcanic ash disruptions, airport snow closures and repeated air traffic control strikes.

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Dear Comrades and Comradies

For the 2nd year in a row travel companies appear to be going bust at the start of the summer, traditionally a solid period where cashflow is good (ie before folks have travelled and hotel/airline disbursements must be paid, while the travel operator holds all the cash). Usually they collapse in the autumn. Given that my own travel industry commissions are a tiny fraction of what they were in prior years and are now at their lowest ever throughout this recession/"recovery" period since 2007, I can see many more firms (that have overheads and leverage, unlike smug me) collapsing soon.

Do post a reply from your Maldives luxury hotel, if you are unlucky enough to be stranded by this collapse, if you get a moment between 4 hand beach massages and pina coladas (which you will now be paying for!):

UPDATED: CAA steps in after Dreamticket.com ceases trading

May 24, 2011 08:00

The collapse of Dreamticket.com parent company Selsdon Travel has left 600 holidaymakers abroad and 4,000 forward bookings, according to the Civil Aviation Authority.

The long haul direct sell operator featured holidays to the Indian Ocean, Middle East, Far East, Africa and Caribbean and held a licence to cover 17,000 passengers. The CAA through the ATOL scheme is making arrangements for people abroad to complete their holidays and return to the UK, and to fully refund those with forward bookings.

Those overseas will be in possession of scheduled airline tickets, which will remain valid. “Passengers are therefore advised to go to the airport as ticketed to return to the UK,” the authority.

But it warned that travellers may be required by the hotels to repay for their stay. “If this is the case, passengers must ensure that they are provided with a clear receipt for the payment, which will be required in order to make a claim for a refund of the payment upon return to the UK,” the CAA said.

Dreamticket.com owner Selsdon Travel has ceased trading yesterday despite promise of investment from a new backer just three months ago. It was reported in March that private equity investor Hatfield Investments had bought a majority shareholding in the long-haul online specialist and call centre.

Selsdon was said to be the first of about 20 travel firms Hatfield was looking to invest in and as part of the deal its chief executive, Levy Benarroch, became chief executive and his wife, Lynne, managing director.

At the time of the deal Benarroch said: “Hatfield Investments will use its expertise in technology, sales and online marketing to catapult Selsdon Travel into the top-20 travel companies in the UK.

“We have a robust strategic plan and, combined with the outstanding skills of all the staff at Dreamticket in Croydon, and other locations, we anticipate a very bright future for Dreamticket.”

Dreamticket’s business development manager, Addas Datoo, son of former chief executive Nazma Datoo, who left as part of the Hatfield deal, said at the time:

“Hatfield Investments will give Dreamticket access to significant additional funding and will allow the company to explore new opportunities and potential acquisitions within the industry.

“We are also excited about the developments that we will be seeing in our technology and marketing strategy as a result of this acquisition.”

The firm is understood to turn over about £35 million and had just under 4,500 forward bookings. In 2008 it was included in the Sunday Times Tech Track 100 that listed the UK’s fastest-growing technology companies.

Dreamticket is the third-biggest UK operator to the Maldives and it specialised in the Indian Ocean and destinations in the Middle East such as Dubai. It was an Atol holder and Abta member and was also an Iata agent.

Dreamticket.com was set up by chief executive Lawrence Hunt, now a director at Lowcost Travel Group, and commercial director Jo Rzymowska, who is now Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s UK general manager. The company ceased operating in 2001 and Selsdon acquired the domain name in 2002.

.

Edited by georgia o'keeffe

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For the 2nd year in a row travel companies appear to be going bust at the start of the summer, traditionally a solid period where cashflow is good (ie before folks have travelled and hotel/airline disbursements must be paid, while the travel operator holds all the cash). Usually they collapse in the autumn. Given that my own travel industry commissions are a tiny fraction of what they were in prior years and are now at their lowest ever throughout this recession/"recovery" period since 2007, I can see many more firms (that have overheads and leverage, unlike smug me) collapsing soon.

I also wanted to add the solution to this will be the same solution that has come to airlines. A lot fewer players, ones with real pricing power, and much higher prices. If travel packages were the same as now but cost say 30% more.. it would give great room for error.

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If you look at the middle and lower classes many travel with hardly any money. They save up just enough to afford a trip, then go. They don't have any fallback.

Actually a great deal of Brits live their entire life with no extra money.. which is quite stressful because if anything goes wrong they are in for some pain. On the other hand if you have a few hundred k in the bank its annoying when something like this happens, but not stressful. And your stress from day to day is greatly reduced because you don't have to worry about things going wrong.

Of course its easy for me to say because I have a high level of ability to delay gratification.

And I believe that exact same strategy (ie of having little or no cash fallback) is what will hurt many travel firms this summer, in addition to their other many woes - the traditional easter holiday sales were ultra bad due to the lateness of easter, the royal wedding and the generally dire retail state of play. Chuck in the past 2 winters where you could ski closer to home than France (ie scotland or your own icy pathway) along with a fall-off in luxury ski trips and winter sun sales, and you have a recipe for DOOM.

The only winners in all this are are the 2 big travel players, to whom package buyers are flocking for security of purchase - but even they are losing money hand over fist....

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And I believe that exact same strategy (ie of having little or no cash fallback) is what will hurt many travel firms this summer, in addition to their other many woes - the traditional easter holiday sales were ultra bad due to the lateness of easter, the royal wedding and the generally dire retail state of play. Chuck in the past 2 winters where you could ski closer to home than France (ie scotland or your own icy pathway) along with a fall-off in luxury ski trips and winter sun sales, and you have a recipe for DOOM.

The only winners in all this are are the 2 big travel players, to whom package buyers are flocking for security of purchase - but even they are losing money hand over fist....

Add Icelandic volcanic ash and mix well!

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The only winners in all this are are the 2 big travel players, to whom package buyers are flocking for security of purchase - but even they are losing money hand over fist....

There is lots of alternative travel methods other than airlines you know! Europe has a pretty decent high speed rail network. 2.5 hours to Paris, then a 8 hour night train to Madrid or Barcelona. From then on its another 4-5 hours to the South of Spain. A number of skydivers do this because a number of airlines do not like carrying skydiving rigs. Ryan air is OK, but they charge you £50 for it each way. Other airlines don't! As the AAD (automatic activation device) uses an tiny shaped charge to cut the reserve loop. Some other airports even ask you to open both your parachutes necessitating an £50 repack and recert.

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There is lots of alternative travel methods other than airlines you know! Europe has a pretty decent high speed rail network. 2.5 hours to Paris, then a 8 hour night train to Madrid or Barcelona. From then on its another 4-5 hours to the South of Spain. A number of skydivers do this because a number of airlines do not like carrying skydiving rigs. Ryan air is OK, but they charge you £50 for it each way. Other airlines don't! As the AAD (automatic activation device) uses an tiny shaped charge to cut the reserve loop. Some other airports even ask you to open both your parachutes necessitating an £50 repack and recert.

Frankly I can see the attraction of skydiving over the Med rather than Blackpool! :P

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Frankly I can see the attraction of skydiving over the Med rather than Blackpool! :P

You're not supposed to look down until you're under canopy. You're supposed to look at the horizon.

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Of course its easy for me to say because I have a high level of ability to delay gratification.

So, how long can you last? :D

Agreed with the lack of cash thing. I know families who save the holiday fund for a whole year and blow it on an all-inclusive two week package, leaves very little to cover contingencies. And it's usually boring shite.

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You're not supposed to look down until you're under canopy. You're supposed to look at the horizon.

Why's that? Rest of the body follows the head and you end up diving forwards and totally out of control?

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There is lots of alternative travel methods other than airlines you know! Europe has a pretty decent high speed rail network. 2.5 hours to Paris, then a 8 hour night train to Madrid or Barcelona. From then on its another 4-5 hours to the South of Spain.

That sounds jolly.

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