UK based travel website TTG Digital (access here) is reporting that IATA has put AirFastTicket UK in default over unpaid bills and as a result has also suspended the agent’s German and Greece operations due to the ownership structure.
The agent (AirFastTickets.co.uk) has not been able to settle its May bill and is 14 million euros on default according to TTG Digital.
You can access the entire TTG Digital article here.
Here are some tidbits from the piece:
The letter, which was sent to airlines, has been seen by TTG, and reveals that the company owes a total of €45 million.
In it Iata states: “Regrettably, we have to inform you that earlier this morning we were forced to place the UK office in default, due to their inability to meet the deadline of their remittance obligations (sales of the month of May).
“Further to the default declaration for BSP UK, we have also proceeded to suspend the agent in Greece and Germany, due to the common ownership structure of these agencies”.
The airline association added that it had been monitoring daily the sales per market for the last plus 50 days, “with several weekly calls with AirFastTicket group’s management, to discuss and agree on risk mitigation actions”.
AirFastTicket’s various country sites have been offering very good flight deals by using dollar off coupons that have been applicable even for the lowest fares. Some have purchased flights for a few bucks by applying coupons and using various fuel dump tricks.
Maybe the agent should have stricter internal controls in place that would have prevented these sales if in turn they are not able to meet their settlement requirements with the airlines through IATA’s clearing houses?
This shouldn’t affect the validity of the tickets issued by the agent as long as the ticket numbers are available. It would be wise to make sure that you have the airline record locators (PNR’s) and ticket numbers for all itineraries not yet flown that are issued by AirfastTickets.
Seems that the AirFastTickets.co.uk continues selling airline tickets but not for all the airlines. It is interesting to see what will happen with the agent. Let’s hope that they can clear the incurred debt with IATA and continue operations.
If someone has a copy of that letter that IATA has sent out to its members about the situation with AirFastTickets, please email me a PDF copy.