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Viking Airlines

Old 1st Feb 2009, 08:31
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Viking Airlines

from todays Independent

Directors of the collapsed XL Leisure Group, which fell into administration last September leaving thousands of passengers stranded, have emerged as backers of Viking Airlines, a firm that will fly British passengers to and from the Continent this summer.

Less than six months after XL founder Phil Wyatt was filmed crying on TV, amid the collapse of the firm with debts of more than 100m, his new business Black Pearl Investments, named after Johnny Depp's ship in Pirates of the Caribbean, has taken a 50 per cent stake in Viking through its Icelandic operation, BPI Iceland Ltd.

Alongside Wyatt, Halldor Sigurdarson, XL's former finance director, and former XL director Magnus Stephensen, are backers of the new investment firm behind Viking.
A spokesman for Companies House in Sweden told The Independent on Sunday: "I can confirm the shares for BPI Iceland are represented by a Magnus Stephensen. In the latest minutes that we have received, a company called BPI Iceland owns 30,000 shares in Viking Airlines AB."

Mr Stephensen confirmed that BPI had taken a 50 per cent stake in the airline. From this summer Viking Airlines will fly British holidaymakers, after it struck a deal to sell flights in the UK through Meridian Aviation, a firm run by Jim Wyatt, the brother of Phil Wyatt.

Meridian also recently signed a deal to provide seats in the UK to Kiss Flights, which is run by Paul Moss, a former director of Freedom Flights, a subsidiary of XL Leisure.

In September last year Moss is reported to have said: "Phil was and is absolutely devastated by the collapse of XL and is absolutely not involved in Kiss."
An industry source said: "While I'm not suggesting for a moment that Phil Wyatt and the others have done anything wrong, the fact that they are emerging at the heart of the industry less than six months after XL failed will leave many feeling very uneasy."

News of Wyatt's re-emergence comes as many people continue to struggle to get their money back in the wake of XL's demise. Zolfo Cooper, handling XL's administration, has conceded that most creditors are unlikely to recoup their losses.

Meanwhile, figures from PricewaterhouseCoopers released today are likely to provide little cheer for the UK travel industry. In under two years, the number of insolvent tour operators/travel agents has increased by 50 per cent, with 15 going in bust in the final three months of 2008. But PwC's Ian Oakley-Smith, said: "With around 30 airline failures forecast over the next year, travel organisers operating under the Atol scheme will be expected to find alternative air travel for their customers. This could finish off a number of smaller companies."

But he added: "XL had 3 per cent of the market and its demise will have freed up share for other travel companies. As more become insolvent in 2009, this will benefit some of the larger players and the gulf between winner and losers will widen."
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Old 1st Feb 2009, 08:51
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Haven't we had all this before?

The people you name are doing nothing wrong legally. If you have to work, no matter who you are, you go back to what you know and start again.

.....and yes, before anyone accuses a leasing company of complicity on XL, Viking's 2 x 737-800s are ex G-XLAE/J. Nothing sinister, just a leasing company finding a client for it's aircraft in a difficult market.
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Old 1st Feb 2009, 09:23
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Also remember Goldcrest/Peach Air AirOps Air/Ops Europe
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Old 1st Feb 2009, 09:28
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If you have to work, no matter who you are, you go back to what you know and start again.
Really? So the out of work pilots, how do they start again and go back to what they know in the current climate?

I think maybe you can understand ex-employees annoyance when they received little to no notice of their impending redundancies, no redundancy pay, etc and then read of these chaps jumping right into another venture when they still owe a lot of people money from the previous one.

I know business is business and I am not claiming they did something illegal (perhaps they did?) but it seems very immoral therefore don't be surprised when there's a backlash!
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Old 1st Feb 2009, 17:02
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The backlash

is already beginning, Vikings summer programme is full of holes, most tour ops wouldnt touch it with a bargepole.
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Old 1st Feb 2009, 18:20
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I doubt any Tour operators are going to want to take any capacity, most of the smaller operators that are the likely target for this airline are the ones that got burned when XL collapsed. And the bigger ops are going to stick to TCX, TOM, MON, LS, AEA, JKK etc.
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Old 1st Feb 2009, 21:14
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maybe having a prgramme with holes in them will do it good. With few aircraft and a busy programme, a few holes leave the opportunity for adhoc/subcharter work and also during disruption, the holes are a godsend.

not sure if you have a full programme or not but considering they have just increased capacity during in april on i believe 5 routes for agents to book surely isn't a bad sign, is it ?

something must be going right to put more capacity on ?
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Old 6th Feb 2009, 21:30
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Directors of the collapsed XL Leisure Group have emerged as backers of Viking Airline

XL founder Phil Wyatts new business Black Pearl Investments has taken a 50% stake in Viking through its Icelandic operation BPI Iceland Ltd. Halldor Sigurdarson, XLs former finance director, and former XL director Magnus Stephensen are backers of the new investment firm behind Viking, along with Wyatt. Viking will fly British holidaymakers this summer thanks to a deal with Meridian Aviation, run by Phil Wyatts brother Jim Wyatt (Independent). Holidaymakers face an increase in the amount the pay to protect their holiday under the ATOL scheme, as the CAA warns that XL compensation claims has left it dangerously underfunded at a time when more firms are likely to fail.
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Old 7th Feb 2009, 18:14
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Any other thoughts?

just_registered why are you thinking their summer program is full of holes?
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Old 8th Feb 2009, 07:39
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Buster_2

My thoughts......... A rat is always a rat
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Old 20th Feb 2009, 14:34
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Excel airways re-launch.

Just heard that Excel airways are to re-start trading under a different name this summer from MAN and LGW bases.

Ex employee's asked to come back.....
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Old 20th Feb 2009, 14:59
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Nope Viking are opening a base there after a previous base opening at Gatwick.
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Old 20th Feb 2009, 17:10
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Don't think all employees can (assuming they want to) get back in, only 2 aircraft at Viking last I heard. Only for the "in gang" I presume.

Raises all kinds of questions of morality for me personally. Would they pay me back the 5 digit sum they owe me from the last escapade?? Would I want to work for people who have caused a lot of heartache for me and a lot of colleagues? Is there any point in having a contract when the last one they gave me was made totally redundant?

I think I'd suggest a better use for the paper this time round...
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Old 20th Feb 2009, 18:03
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Do they have a web page?
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Old 21st Feb 2009, 17:29
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Yes they do although the timetables dont all seem to be online yet although i guess looking at Kiss flights website would show you where Viking will be going.
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Old 16th Mar 2009, 12:54
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Viking aka XL

Whilst I am very happy that many of my former friends and collegues from XL are back flying again with Viking I have very mixed emotions about this airline.
I just see this airline as a re brand of the former airline which went to the wall owing all its loyal and dedicated staff large amounts of money.

If Phil Wyatt and co have ANYTHING to do with this airline (which I am almost certain they are) then I hope it fails misrably BUT then going off his previous form it will fail anyway leaving people stranded and staff unpaid, whilst he and his merry bunch of mates count their cash whilst trying to think up another name for an airline.

I bet your not crying anymore Eh Phil
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Old 16th Mar 2009, 14:19
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We have covered this topic numerous times and whilst the people behind it are questionable (not my personal view may i add) at the end of the day, its happened, its going ahead as planned as there is not alot anyone can do to stop it happening.

What happened at XL happens across the country in alot of companies, just on a smaller scale and not in the public eye.

Give them a chance and see what unfolds during the summer and then we can all come back here and hopefully look back at what will be a good summer for them.

Thanks
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Old 16th Mar 2009, 16:06
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does this refer to VIK based in Sweden?
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Old 16th Mar 2009, 17:07
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cornishsimon

Correct, the Viking airlines with headquarters in Stockholm.
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Old 16th Mar 2009, 17:33
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Im assuming you mean VIK the Swedish company that has been operating since 2003. They have HQ in Stockholm and ops in Athens if I remember rightly? Whats that got to do with XL?
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