Insolvent German tour operator

Insurer guarantees JT Touristik packages until end-October

09.10.2017, 10:37

Hoteliers and other suppliers of insolvent German tour operator JT Touristik will have their costs covered for all bookings up to the end of October but holidays from November remain uncertain.

JT Touristik is based in a Berlin villa
Foto: JT Touristik

Customers, suppliers, travel agents and others hit by the bankruptcy of Berlin-based JT Touristik can breathe a sigh of relief. The company’s insurer has confirmed that it will cover the costs of all booked holidays with departures up to October 31, meaning that these can go ahead.

Insurance company Generali, which had cancelled JT’s insolvency protection as of October 31, 2017, had previously only confirmed that it would cover the costs of all holidays with departures between September 29 and October 14.

The tour operator’s provisional insolvency administrator, Stephan Thiemann, announced that JT will continue trading in order to ensure that booked holidays can take place and to save jobs. He confirmed that booked holidays up to October 31 “including the return trip will be 100% covered by the insurance protection from the current insurer”. All suppliers have been informed in writing, according to the company.

It remains unclear, however, whether holidays booked for November 1 onwards can go ahead or not. At present JT Touristik cannot provide customers with the legally required insolvency protection certificate as it has no insurer as of November 1, 2017.

Thiemann said his team is working urgently on a restructuring plan for JT, including short-term financing, and will apply for ‘insolvency cash’ from the German employment agency to cover wages for the company’s 64 employees for the next three months.

JT Touristik declared insolvency on September 29, explaining that it had been unable to secure insolvency insurance for the 2017/18 business year. Generali terminated its contract with the tour operator as it is withdrawing from the travel market.

In the immediate aftermath, numerous JT customers were forced to pay for their accommodation again at the destination (particularly in Turkey) because the hotelier had not been paid in advance by JT or informed that their costs would be covered by the insurer. But Jasmin Taylor, founder and owner of the company, told fvw on October 2: “Customers who had to make payments in destinations will get their money back.”

JT Touristik had some 346,000 customers and turnover of €176 million in 2015/16, according to fvw’s annual German tour operators dossier. The company has not released figures for its expected turnover and customer numbers for the current business year, ending October 31, 2017.

As a dynamic package tour operator JT Touristik contracted hotel accommodation mostly through large bedbanks and incoming agencies, including MTS/OTS, Jumbo, W2M, FTI subsidiary Meeting Point and Alpha Tours.

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