Just a few weeks after the collapse of brand leader Thomas Cook, Flylolo announced cancelled flights to and from the Canary Islands over the busy half-term period, giving some customers as little as a few hours notice.
Fylolo have been selling flights to popular destinations like Lanzarote, Tenerife and Fuerteventura for this October’s half-term breaks, cashing in on those families looking for a bit of sun this autumn.
However, they don’t actually own any planes… Flylolo had planned to charter flights for the dates agreed, allowing them to sell tickets at peak times without owning any planes, keeping their costs to a minimum.
While this may sound a bit unusual, it’s perfectly legal to do. In fact, EasyJet started out this way, chartering flights with other companies’ planes – and it worked out for them.
Flylolo’s founder and chief executive Paul Dendle briefly explained where things went wrong: “The issue was the aircraft we thought we had a firm agreement on, was withdrawn.”
Despite several desperate, but ultimately unsuccessful, attempts to find alternative airlines, Mr Dendle was unable to secure a deal.
As the company is ATOL protected, all affected customers are entitled to refunds, which can take up to two weeks. This isn’t good news for those customers who booked their accommodation and other travel costs, separately as these costs aren’t covered by the ATOL protection.
There are limited flights still available, but due to high demand over the half-term period, these can be expensive. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), who have previously provided a refund scheme for Thomas Cook customers, will not step in, as Flylolo is still operational and continues to sell flights for the Festive Season.Customers have been advised to contact Flylolo directly to claim a refund, which should be provided within 10 working days. Their email address is [email protected] and their Customer Service number is 08444 720 737.