Last night MyTravel issued this statement in an attempt to answer some of the questions being asked.
Q. Are people's holidays at risk?
A. We are the biggest tour operator in the UK and we have been in business for over 30 years. People can book with confidence. We took 15 million people world wide last year and in the UK 97% of our Airtours customers said they would re-book. You should not take any notice of rumours circulated by our competitors. Of course, all our holidays are financially sound and protected. We are a large profitable company and people should need have no fear. We have well-known trusted brands and a very high repeat customer rate. Bookings for summer 2003 are up 44% on last year because people recognise our holidays represent good value for money.
Q. Why should you book with us?
A. Because we are the biggest tour operator in the UK. People have been booking with us in large numbers in the last four months because of the great deals we have on offer. If you book with us this weekend, you get no deposit, free child place, free insurance, no flight supplement and our plus package that includes prebookable seats, a choice of 10 meals and lots of other benefits.
Q: If your company is financially sound why are Thomson/Thomas Cook refusing to sell your holidays?
A. Thomson “de-racked” or stopped selling our holidays at the end of July because they were annoyed that our advertising pointed out that our holidays were cheaper that theirs. They only re-racked our brochures two weeks ago - now, unsurprisingly, they've taken them off sale again. They are our competitors and this is an opportunist stunt. Commercially, it will have no impact, because of the very low volumes of holidays Thomson sell for the MyTravel group anyway - less than 1%. In the last 48 hours there has been no increase in cancellations.


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