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Excel Airways

Old 20th Sep 2008, 17:45
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Why did XL go bankrupt

Why did XL go bankrupt? It was set up, mafia style! — The Reviewalizer
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Old 20th Sep 2008, 21:27
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Okay. Speaking as SLF and...working for a small independent tour operator with an allocation with XL this season to DLM. My role is to negotiate via relevent brokers for our seasons flying. 2 years ago, with hesitation, we contracted with XL - with hesitation because of their poor track history of on-time performance. This is crucial to our ops, as we run charter yachts out in Turkey - late flights really bugger up our turnarounds, staff working extra hours etc etc. However, XL really improved their act, I think this summer there was only one significant delay. Well done to all onboard and boys and girls on the ground.
My point - extra seats purchased via Freedom/Pure etc etc on-line via our account had to include the ATOL levy of £1.00pp. Guess what - we are shafted - along with other independent operators. Piggy in the middle. Everything cancelled, we are expected to protect the consumer and rebook alternatives, at our expense. We (as principle) cannot recover anything via ATOL. We are talking (top end) 6 figures for a small company. 2 weeks ago we were almost ready to crack the champers on a really good year. Instead, I am in the office maxing the company c/c out on booking alternatives with the sharks that have increased their prices 100% plus overnight, and explaining to customers why we can only get them back at 3 in the morning.
Through this forum, and contacts at LGW, I find it incredible that Mr Crocodile Tears, who blames 'market downturn and oil prices' suddenly appears to be setting up via whatever Scandinavian network he has, same routes and same planes for next years flying (Kiss etc). Stating the obvious - if fuel prices and market conditions have shut down XL, there is no market to start afresh. It amazes me that fuel supps are charged but fuel cannot be purchased. Where did that money go?
Mr Wyatt - if you read these forums - you have been in the industry a long time, so have many others. We are all in the same network. You may never have met me, or the thousands of satisfied clients that I put on you aircraft. Stop blaming exteral circumstances and take a hard look at what you want to acheive. Your planes were full and customers came back for more. For summer 09 you can bet that we will taking a wide berth of anything you are involved in.
IF I have the wrong end of the stick - I apologise. Somehow I feel that I do not.
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Old 20th Sep 2008, 22:29
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Careful flythe76.

Black limos could show up in your street anytime.

They hate being outed.

How does it go again. "play up play up and play the game"
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Old 21st Sep 2008, 13:14
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Daily Mail

More cr yesterday

Saying pilots wanted enquiry as to why 21 a/c stranded overseas not allowed to bring pax back

Only 1 a/c (LCA based) was overseas and one in SFB was tunrned back

All others airborne or on ground in UK...

Last edited by UFGBOY; 21st Sep 2008 at 15:18.
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Old 21st Sep 2008, 15:38
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It was not only in that rag the Daily Mail, l read it elsewhere and think it was BALPA asking the question.
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Old 5th Oct 2008, 16:35
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Angel Bye-Bye XL

Ta for your kind comments, Tony, I hope your honeymoon wasn't spoiled by the company's demise. Yes,I was the captain (speaking) who tried selling safety using humour! I found that getting the SLF to laugh (and occasionally applaud if they were in the right mood) set the right tone for the trip, more minds appeared to focus on the safety demo and the relationship twixt cabin crew and customers was better. Most important were the comments to myself and CC at the flt deck door by disembarking pax indicating that they found it a refreshing change and the nervous flyers actually felt better about the whole ghastly business of flying. I enjoyed my time with XL, great bunch of worker ants and sad to see all being chucked onto the unemployment scrapheap by forces over which we had no control. Have been through this only once before and unpleasant tho' it is, eventually the wheel turns full circle and I hope all find a job after the inevitable hard times.
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Old 15th Oct 2008, 18:27
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Article from todays Guardian

The auditors to collapsed tour operator XL Leisure are to be investigated by the profession's disciplinary watchdog after a request from the UK's largest accountancy institute.
Cameron Scott, executive counsel at the Accountancy and Actuarial Discipline Board (AADB) is to examine the conduct of BDO Stoy Hayward in relation to its audit of the accounts of XL Leisure for the year to October 31 2007. It is doing so after a referral from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales.

The AADB has the authority to investigate company directors if they are members of qualifying accountancy bodies although none of the directors of XL are believed to be qualified accountants.
While there is nothing to suggest directors acted improperly, administrators from Kroll must shortly submit a routine report on their conduct to the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform.

XL's 2007 accounts were signed off, without qualification, by BDO on May 23 this year. The balance sheet shows the tour operator had increased net assets from £19.6m to £44.2m by the year-end. Much of this balance sheet strengthening came as intangible assets almost trebled from £34.6m to £95.6m. This was more than enough to offset net current liabilities which rose from £8.1m to £59.3m.

The collapse of XL five weeks ago left about 80,000 UK holidaymakers stranded overseas, and disrupted the travel plans of many more.
The Civil Aviation Authority's Atol bonding scheme ensured some were returned home at no extra cost, but those who booked their trips with agents not operating within the scheme were forced to find their own way home. Rival carriers profited from their predicament by hiking flight prices.

BDO issued a statement today saying it would be inappropriate to comment on the AADB investigation. It added: "XL airways operated in a volatile marketplace. The administrators for XL have previously confirmed that XL entered into administration having suffered as a result of unpredictable fuel prices, the economic downturn, and were unable to obtain further funding."

After just 15 months in the job, the XL chief executive, Peter Owen, resigned in June, forcing deputy chairman Phil Wyatt to take over day-to-day running of the company. Wyatt had led a management buyout in November 2006.
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Old 16th Oct 2008, 03:53
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£95.6m - £59.3m = A Nice Tidy Sum To Assist in the new venture of Kiss, Don't tell the accountants
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Old 16th Oct 2008, 06:14
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And as we are always being reminded on Pprune to be careful in our reports of rumours due to the ever circling dark shadows of hungry journo's.

I just wonder how long it will be until someone takes up this sorry saga and exposes the real truth behind the whole debacle.

Come on guys you owe it to the ex-employees and the thousands of ripped-off customers

We just want the facts......just the facts
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Old 6th Nov 2008, 10:20
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QUOTE: Much of this balance sheet strengthening came as intangible assets almost trebled from £34.6m to £95.6m

jhangiani - taking liabilities off this value does not leave you with any cash - they are intangible! Probably came from all the goodwill from the Leisure groups acquisitions. An unless they can sell on any of these divisions with the brand in tact (unlikely), this amount will likely never be realised!

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Old 8th Nov 2008, 10:09
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So just when do you HAVE to buy ?

As an Ex-XL employee I've been a little late on picking up some of the extended discussions on this sad demise .... but the following quote intrigued me

" . . . . it was the two banks that put the price tag on the business back in Nov 06 and effectively burdened the business with excessive debt . . . "

Maybe it's just a wild thought of mine but if you're looking to buy something (an airline in this management buy-out case) and you think it's overpriced . . . . . . . . then don't you just politely walk away ?

Perhaps certain management couldn't see beyond their potential new images as shiny new important airline owners, no matter what the cost ?

But of course the true eventual cost of this newly aquired self-importance ego buy-out didn't fall upon their shoulders . . . . the true cost was carried by the young boys and girls who subsequently lost their jobs.

Still, chins up everybody. Christmas is just around the corner
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Old 12th Nov 2008, 18:06
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Does anyone Know when ATOL protected passengers are going to get reimbursed?
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Old 12th Nov 2008, 18:36
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From past experience, the refunds can take up to 6 months.
I worked in travel when two big operators went under mid 90's and the CAA took forever. Hopefully quicker now but i would not hold your breath.
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Old 4th Dec 2008, 14:00
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Phil Wyatt poised for travel comeback

Phil Wyatt poised for travel comeback
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Lucy Huxley

Former XL Leisure Group boss Phil Wyatt (pictured) will make his comeback in the travel industry on January 5 with a new investment and consultancy business dealing in the leisure sector.

Black Pearl Investments UK has been set up by Wyatt with XL’s former group chief financial officer, Halldor Sigurdarson, and head of mergers and acquisitions, Magnus Stephensen.

Wyatt said each of the individuals had put money into the venture and that the company was also “capitalised to a good level” by outside investors, including one based in Hong Kong.

Black Pearl is named after Johnny Depp’s ship in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.

Wyatt said the business would focus on several markets, including the UK, and claimed that despite the downturn it was a good time to launch.

“I believe that in a tough financial environment, many opportunities will present themselves. And as a team we have a good knowledge of the French and German markets as well as the UK, Canada and the US,” said Wyatt.

But he stressed that after his XL experience, he was now keen to take a less hands-on role working with a smaller company.

“I would love to be involved in the UK travel business again, but I have no desire to be involved in another large corporation. You can come back too soon.” he said.

“I’ve done nothing wrong but I am taking a risk, so I want to be an investor as opposed to a manager with day-to-day involvement.”

The administrators’ report into the failure of XL and its subsidiaries was published this week ahead of a creditors meeting at Wembley Arena on December 16-17.

The list of its largest creditors included the CAA, which accounted for more than £85 million through the call on its bond and repatriation, and West Ham Football Club (£389,000).

Phil Wyatt poised for travel comeback - Travel Trade Gazette
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Old 6th Dec 2008, 07:00
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Don't read too much into it (ok then do so).........

Black Pearl is named after Johnny Depp’s ship in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies
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Old 12th Sep 2009, 11:05
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XL Collapse - One year on - Hows things

Apologies to the mods if this has been covered in another section but thought it was appropiate to post here.

One year on since the sad collapse of XL and the other companies that went with it,would be interesting to know how people are getting on and what they are all up to now.

Any other stories i'm sure would also be an interesting read.

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Old 12th Sep 2009, 12:11
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I know we (BA Cityflyer) took on some former XL captains. And one captain whent to FlyDubai on the 737NG. That's all I know.
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Old 12th Sep 2009, 14:45
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I reckon most have found jobs. Just a few airlines that i know have taken XXL crews are, Viking, Qatar, Korean, Eastern, Flydubai, jetairfly, Neos, XL France, Thomas Cook, Gulfair, Air India express. There are probably more and i know some are only summer contracts so i hope those guy's find something else soon. Best wishes to all my former collegues. XL gone, but not forgotten!
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Old 12th Sep 2009, 15:37
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Quite a lot went to Viking as I recall, something like 40%
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Old 12th Sep 2009, 15:51
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Cabin Crew wise, I was one of the lucky few to get a permanent contract at bmi LHR. A about another 20 X-XLers have joined me.

The majority of crew are split between the LGW charter carriers TCX, MON and VIK.

Arik Air picked up some Cabin Crew also.

Some have also joined EI with their base, along with some other crew on temp contracts with EZY. Then a few have gone abroad with QR, and EY and some at STN are with Titan.
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