News: Jobs losses expected as Shearings enters administration

Specialist Leisure Group has gone into administration with thousands of job losses and cancelled bookings expected.

The company owns the coach companies Shearings and National Holidays.

The group had over 64,000 bookings, the vast majority of which were coach package holidays.

All package holiday bookings will be cancelled, by are financially protected so customers with these bookings will receive a full refund, with coach packages protected by the confederation of passenger transport.

Shearings also offered a small number of flight package holidays which are ATOL protected and will be processed by the CAA. 

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John de Vial, ABTA director of membership and financial services, said: “The Specialist Leisure Group included two of the UK’s best known coach holiday brands, Shearings and National Holidays, two much loved holiday companies who for many years have provided holidays both at home and overseas to a very loyal group of customers.

“Today is a very sad day for these customers and the thousands of staff who will have lost their jobs.

“The fact that two such well-known brands with a loyal customer base have had to call in administrators is a stark indication of the pressure that the holiday industry is under as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.”

The group contained five companies in total that sold holidays and other travel arrangements: Shearings Holidays Limited, Wallace Arnold Travel Limited, National Holidays Ltd (trading as Caledonian Travel and Travel Style), UK Breakaways Limited, and Shearings Hotels Ltd (trading as Bay Hotels and Coach and Country Hotels).

Wallace Arnold Travel Ltd acted as an agent for other suppliers, these bookings will go ahead as normal, except where the bookings have been made with other companies within the Specialist Leisure Group.

Joint administrator, Sam Woodward, commented: “The group has been significantly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic as all tours, trips and events have been cancelled and the hotels closed to the public, leading to a significant cash shortfall.

“The directors of the group have been in discussions with a number of parties, seeking a going concern buyer for the business.

“Unfortunately, despite interest in the group as a whole and in parts, no viable transaction structure was able to be agreed and, as a result, the group was placed into administration.”

The jobs of 2,460 employees, 2,207 of which are currently furloughed, will be made redundant.

Approximately 70 employees will initially be retained to assist the administrators in disposing of the assets and winding down the business.

Woodward added: “Our immediate priority is to advise and support those employees and customers that have been impacted by the group’s insolvency.

“We are making every effort to contact all customers, who have had their bookings cancelled as a result of the administrations or Covid-19, with information to assist them in making a claim.

“Customers should be assured that claims do not need to be submitted immediately and refunds will continue to be accepted for up to six months.”

Read the original article at Breaking Travel News

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