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Hundreds of passengers in Scotland have been given just hours notice that their half-term flights to the Canary Islands will not be taking off – and warned not to go to the airport.
A Sussex-based company, Flylolo, had sold seats for three flights from Glasgow airport to Tenerife and one to Lanzarote on Friday and Saturday.
But the airport issued a statement saying: “We were made aware tonight that flights planned by operator Flylolo to Tenerife South and Arrecife in Lanzarote this weekend will now not go ahead.
“We would ask all Flylolo passengers affected not to travel to the airport and to contact the operator direct for further information.”
The airline’s telephone number is 08444 720737, and its email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Linda Andrews tweeted: “So disappointing for the 40+ kids from REN96 Swim Team who have had their trip to Lanzarote cancelled twice now. Hopefully we will still find a way for them to go."
The only available alternative flight appears to be a Prestwick-Lanzarote flight on Ryanair on Saturday evening, currently priced at £177 one way.
Flylolo was launched in 2016 by Paul Dendle, the founder and managing director of the seat-only provider, Avro, between 1984 and 1995.
He told the Press Association that he had been let down by the aircraft providers, saying: “I have been working 18-hour days to try and resolve this issue, but alas it was impossible.
”I apologise for the disruption and disappointment caused, I sincerely feel for the affected clients.“
It is believed that all payments had been held in a trust fund, with refunds promised within two weeks.
The company says: “You can absolutely be guaranteed and assured your money is safe.” But “consequential losses” – for accommodation and car rental in the Canaries – will not be covered.
The cancellations come barely two weeks after Thomas Cook collapsed, with 150,000 customers abroad and 800,000 with holidays booked.
Flylolo gives its address as the business centre of the University of Chichester in Bognor Regis, West Sussex.
Earlier this year it promised flights from Southampton to a range of Mediterranean destinations, all of which were cancelled.
The company says it specialises in flights only at peak times, during school holidays. It has no aircraft of its own.
According to the Flylolo website, it was expecting to fly passengers on a combination of Air Europa, Flybe and Tui Airways. Flybe has no aircraft capable of flying nonstop from Scotland to the Canaries.
Aviation experts have questioned a business plan that depends on sourcing aircraft when they are in peak demand – especially with the Boeing 737 Max grounded worldwide following two fatal crashes.
In addition, the plan appears to involve a large number of “empty legs” – flying back without passengers after taking them to the Canaries, for example – which are extremely costly.