STA travel, a company which grew out of a student travel business, is the latest firm to go into insolvency following the coronavirus pandemic. The travel company, which has 50 shops across the UK, specialises in trips for young people including gap years and volunteering projects. The specialist nature of the business is expected to have caused the firm to be hit harder by the pandemic and has been forced to cease trading. The firm attempted to secure financing post-lockdown when travel restrictions had lifted to an extent, however sales did not pick up as anticipated due to the imposition of further travel restrictions.
Our team is made of highly experienced and tough negotiators that will fight to get the best results for our clients. We have years of experience of negotiating with creditors and debtors alike from large multi-million pound cases to smaller matters with equally large consequences for the person involved.
How will customers be affected by the insolvency?
The firm has stated very little on it’s website giving information for customers and have advised that customers contact the travel providers directly to reconfirm their travel arrangements, including airlines, tour operators, accommodation and transport providers.
STA travel also advised customers to refer to Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) or Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) for more information on what to do and who to contact if further assistance is required.
The Association of British Travel Agents has said that the majority of flights and holidays sold by STA travel would be protected by the Atol scheme. The Atol website has provided further information on how different bookings are protected by the scheme, as well as advice for those who are currently on holiday.
How has the pandemic impacted STA travel?
Due to increasing and changing travel restrictions causing customers to be hesitant to book holidays, ongoing High Street rents and demand for refunds, STA travel have had a severe lack of revenue to support the business.
The firm’s parent company, based in Switzerland, stated that the pandemic had “brought the travel industry to a standstill.”
It’s been estimated that around 500 jobs are expected to be lost following the insolvency of STA travel.
A spokesperson from the Association of British Travel Agents said that the news of the insolvency would:
“send a shockwave through the industry, bringing to life the very real pressures that travel is under at the moment.
“STA Travel will be a name that is familiar to most people who will have used them to travel or been aware of their name on the High Street, and this distressing news will sadly affect the livelihoods of hundreds of employees,”Association of British Travel Agents
How can we help you oppose a winding up petition?
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If your company is concerned about a winding-up petition or statutory demand from a commercial landlord your company can potentially challenge that petition on the following grounds:
- That the debt alleged in the statutory demand or petition to be owing is genuinely disputed on substantial grounds by your company;
- Your company has a genuine right of set-off against the creditor that exceeds the amount claimed in the statutory demand; or
- In certain other limited circumstances (for example such as jurisdiction, technical or procedural error or delay).
In order to oppose a winding-up petition, you would need to file a witness statement in opposition with the Court no fewer than five business days before the date when the petition will be heard by the Court (rule 7.16 of the Insolvency (England and Wales) Rules 2016). You would also need to provide a copy of that witness statement to the petitioning creditor at least five business days before the hearing.
Your company is entitled to appear at the petition hearing and to oppose the making of a winding-up order. It is usual for companies to instruct solicitors and/or barristers to appear on their behalf at the petition hearing.
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Although we are based in the legal heart of London, operating as the only law firm in the historic Middle Temple Chambers, we provide comprehensive nationwide coverage to represent you at any winding up petition hearing. Our team of solicitors and barristers will prepare grounds of opposition and a witness statement for you.
We will represent you at the winding up petition hearing and will provide our own barristers or external local counsel to any hearing across the country.
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