Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Scotland's FlyGlobespan goes bust, strands crews and passengers

by B. N. Sullivan

Flyglobespan B737-800Scottish low-fare and charter airline Flyglobespan has ceased operations, leaving some 800 staff suddenly jobless, and reportedly stranding at least 5,000 passengers abroad. An article about the debacle on the Scottish news Web site The Sun mentioned that flight crews were "understood to be stranded" as well.

The carrier's parent, Globespan Group, entered administration after "having suffered liquidity issues," according to a terse message posted on the Web site. That message went on to say, "Unfortunately, the Joint Administrators have been unable to continue trading the companies and therefore all flights operated by The Globespan Group plc or Globespan Airlines Ltd have been cancelled and the aircraft grounded."

According to several news articles, the majority of Flyglobespan's staff, including crew members, will lose their jobs immediately. A small number of employees will be retained temporarily to help wind down the company's operations.

The Sun reported:
Last month the company staved off collapsed with a last-ditch cash injection. And only a day before going bust, Flyglobespan had been talking about a bright future. On Monday, founder Tom Dalrymple predicted "good news" over a funding deal.
Apparently Mr. Dalrymple was overly optimistic?

Many crew members and other Flyglobespan staff said that they received no official notification of the airline's demise from the company. Sadly, they learned they had lost their jobs when they read news stories or heard about the company's collapse on television.

Rumor has it that crew members down route were told to find their own way home. This wouldn't be the first time the failure of an airline has left crew stranded all over the map and having to pay their own way home, but it is despicable just the same. Talk about adding insult to injury!

And I suppose if there is no money available to buy tickets home for crews it is too much to hope that the crews and ground staff might (eventually) receive their final paychecks.

An article about the company's collapse on the BBC news Web site quoted the Secretary of State for Scotland, Jim Murphy, who said, "The news that Flyglobespan has gone into administration is a real blow for Scotland and first and foremost for the hundreds of employees who now face redundancy a week before Christmas."

Another unnamed Scottish government spokesman said, "We recognise that this will be an anxious time for employees and their families, particularly at this time of year."


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