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Preliminary insolvency proceedings FTI Touristik GmbH – All FTI trips from 06 July 2024 are cancelled

FTI
Provisional insolvency administrator Axel Bierbach.

FTI Touristik GmbH cancels all package tours from July 6, 2024, due to failed takeover negotiations after insolvency, impacting future travel plans.

MUNICH – Despite intensive efforts and negotiations with several market participants of the insolvent tour operator FTI, no satisfactory solution could be found to take over the remaining package tours already booked. FTI Touristik GmbH will therefore immediately cancel all trips with departure dates from Saturday, 6 July 2024. Following the corresponding decision by the creditors’ committee on Friday afternoon, the company has started to inform the affected customers and FTI’s service partners, such as travel agencies and hoteliers, about the cancellations. All package tours and certain individual services that customers have booked for departures from 6 July 2024 onwards via the insolvent companies FTI Touristik GmbH and BigXtra Touristik GmbH as well as via the 5vorFlug sales brand are affected.

“In close cooperation with FTI and the German Travel Guarantee Fund (DRSF), we have worked very hard over the past ten days to find a good solution in the interests of FTI’s customers and partners. We did everything to make package holidays, that have already been booked, possible after all. The DRSF would have been prepared to settle existing refund claims in cooperation with one or more acquiring competitors. This would have allowed holidaymakers with a small budget to start their trips without having to wait for a refund. Unfortunately, we were unable to find such a solution despite the great efforts of all those involved”, provisional insolvency administrator Axel Bierbach said on Friday. “In intensive negotiations with various competitors, we initially saw promising solutions. In the short time available, however, we were unable to achieve a convincing result for a takeover of the package holidays booked with FTI and BigXtra”, he said. In order to finally give customers the necessary planning security before the start of the summer holidays and to enable them to immediately rebook their trip with another provider, the decision had to be made to cancel all remaining trips. With the cancellation of all package tours, FTI’s travel agency partners now also have the opportunity to offer their customers alternatives.

Bierbach confirmed that all deposits already made and any advance payments made by package holidaymakers will be refunded by the German Travel Security Fund.  No package holidaymaker need fear that they will not get their money back. Customers who have booked individual services such as flights, hotels and transfers via FTI, on the other hand, are not entitled to a refund of payments already made by the DRSF.

“We did not take the decision to cancel all trips lightly. We know that the uncertainty of those customers who wanted to start their holiday from 6 July has been very stressful over the past week and we would like to thank them for their patience. Nevertheless, for reasons of care, also for the FTI employees in Germany and in the destinations, we made a very conscious decision not to have all booked trips cancelled by FTI immediately after the insolvency application. The large number of bookings is also a significant economic factor for all of FTI’s long-standing contractual partners, above all for the hotels and transport companies in the destination countries”, said the provisional insolvency administrator. In the interests of the customers, but also of many other parties involved, it was essential to carefully examine alternative solutions.

“We also had to weigh up such a far-reaching decision very carefully in the interests of FTI’s employees and creditors, as considerable assets are at stake”, explained Bierbach. He put the total volume of existing travel bookings at a high three-digit million figure. In total, FTI will now cancel around 175,000 booked package holidays. The creditors’ committee approved the provisional insolvency administrator’s proposal at its meeting on Friday afternoon.

According to the provisional insolvency administrator, responsibility for FTI’s employees also played a major role in the decision to cancel all tours still booked. “One of the primary objectives of the provisional insolvency proceedings is to maintain business operations as far as possible, secure the assets and thus also create the best possible prospects for the employees to continue the business”, explained Bierbach.

The provisional insolvency administrator cited several reasons for the fact that it was ultimately not possible to find a solution for the takeover of the package holiday business by one or more competitors. According to Bierbach, many service partners in the destinations were no longer available. “In the past few days, a large number of local FTI companies that take care of hotels and transfers in the holiday destinations have dropped out, meaning that it would no longer have been possible to run the package holidays as originally planned”, says Bierbach. Specifically, many hotels no longer felt bound by the agreements with the company due to the insolvency. In addition, the highly dynamic nature of the travel market and the current competitive situation would have prevented a solution.

As part of the provisional insolvency proceedings, Bierbach is also carefully weighing up all options for the future of the FTI GROUP subsidiaries. The first successes have been achieved: a good solution has already been found for the German franchise partners of Touristik Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH (TVG). Raiffeisen Vertriebs GmbH is taking over the FTI GROUP’s 50 per cent share in TVG, making it the sole owner. This secures the future of the approximately 230 TVG travel agencies in Germany. The creditors’ committee approved the agreement on Friday. “We are continuing to explore all reorganisation options within the FTI GROUP and are currently in numerous discussions”, said Axel Bierbach.

Theodore Koumelis
Co-Founder & Managing Director - Travel Media Applications | Website

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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