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British tourism industry plunged into chaos

Britain’s tourism industry is plunged into chaos as XL, the country’s 3rd-largest travel firm collapsed, leaving more than 85,000 people stranded in foreign resorts and cities, reports Vijay Dutt.

world Updated: Sep 14, 2008 00:35 IST
Vijay Dutt

Britain’s tourism industry was plunged into chaos as XL, the country’s third-largest travel firm collapsed, leaving more than 85,000 people stranded in foreign resorts and cities.

Phil Wyatt, the chief executive and founder of XL, blamed the airline’s collapse first on soaring oil prices — which have swelled its operating costs by $82 million this year — and then a rising dollar, which had wiped out the benefits of a fall of more than 30 per cent in the oil price since July 11.

Indian travel agents told HT that those who have been planning to fly from here to various holiday destinations should be careful.

Even major airlines, hit by recession, have re-scheduled their flights and restructured their operations. The Times reported that as many as 80 of the 120 airlines operating out of Britain have fallen behind in payments of departure tax receipts to the Government. Ticket prices have gone down and yet not one airline if flying to their normal load.

Air-India has stopped its Kennedy airport flights, instead it is now flying to Newark — effectively New Jersey. It flies from Heathrow to Mumbai and Ahmedabad, because the London-Mumbai and London-Ahmedabad terminator flights stand cancelled.