Over 70 Jobs to go as coach operator collapses

Applebys Travel in Louth is closed today due to 'unforseen circumstances'.
Applebys Travel in Louth is closed today due to 'unforseen circumstances'.

Over 70 jobs will be lost after a coach operator with bases in Louth, Conisholme and North Somercotes went into administration in a disastrous day for the local economy.

Bowen Travel, who own Applebys Coach Holidays, has entered into administration owing to a ‘serious cash flow crisis’.

Applebys Travel in Louth is closed today due to 'unforseen circumstances'.

Applebys Travel in Louth is closed today due to 'unforseen circumstances'.

The travel agents in Eastgate, Louth was shut on Friday with a sign on the door saying ‘closed due to unforseen circumstances’.

Matthew Cowlishaw and Dominic Wong, partners at London-based Deloitte, are dealing with the administration and have confirmed that 42 jobs will go at the Conisholme depot and 30 at the North Somercotes depot.

A total of 393 people across the UK have been made redundant with immediate effect. A ‘skeleton staff’ of around 55 employees will fulfil remaining operations, according to Deloitte. Administrators contacting employees to inform them of the situation.

“Due to the impact of the depressed leisure sector, the group experienced a serious cash flow crisis. Prior to the appointment of Deloitte, a restructuring was considered and a sale of all three divisions sought, however a deal could not be concluded in the time available. All four trading firms within the group have subsequently ceased to trade on October 25 due to being unable to meet payroll commitments,” said a Deloitte spokesman.

Collectively the group operates three divisions of coach tour operations, coach hire with a fleet of 132 coaches and 33 MPVs, and a retail travel agency network of 38 stores.

A spokesperson for ABTA, Association of British Travel Agents, confirmed that customers’ bookings would be protected under the CPT bonding scheme.

The spokesperson said: “ABTA is aware of reports that coach operator Bowen Travel Group has applied to go into administration. Bowen Travel is a part of independent travel agents group Hays Travel, and a member of ABTA and the Confederation of Passenger Transport (with whom it is fully bonded).

“The company sells holidays on behalf of other operators and also sells Bowen’s coach holidays.

“If customers have booked a Bowen’s coach holiday, their money is fully protected under the CPT bonding scheme.

“If they have booked a holiday through Bowens on behalf of another operator, Hays Travel will honour all existing retail bookings and is currently contacting these customers, along with its suppliers, to notify them about this.”

More information will follow as we get it.

Do you work at Applebys? What do you make of the news? Get in touch by emailing sam.kinnaird@jpress.co.uk or tweet reporter Sam Kinnaird.