Palma.—The Majorcan-based tour operator which employs some 5'000 people but fears it will only be able to save about 1'500, only 120 of which will be in the Balearics according to union bosses, is busy trying to sell off its best assets to raise funds to clear its debts with travel agents and hoteliers.

Yesterday, it was confirmed that its chain of 950 travel agencies in Spain and Portugal, Vibo Viajes which was Viajes Iberia, will begin closing to the public from tomorrow.

The Barcelo group is understood to have bought Vibo along with Orizonia's airline Orbest and the two transactions should save 800 jobs.
Orbest is apparently going to continue flying until Sunday in order to repatriate all of Orizonia's clients who have found themselves stuck in their holiday destinations, most of them in the Dominican Republic and Mexico, since Orizonia fell into financial trouble.

Hotel chain
A further 700 positions should be safe after Orizonia sold its hotel chain Luabay to Majorcan travel giant Globalia back in December.
Orizonia is also apparently in talk with TUI with placing some of its top people with Europe's largest tour operator.
But, for the moment, it appears that Orizonia will be able to safeguard 1'500 jobs from its 5'000 strong workforce. However, yesterday morning, the President of the Balearics, Jose Ramon Bauza, who is deeply concerned about the possible loss of 1'000 plus jobs in the Balearics, met a working committee representing the nearly 200 Orizionia employees who mounted a demonstration outside his Consolat de Mar government headquarters in Palma.

Bauza has apparently pledged all the government's aid and judicial support in reaching a satisfactory solution to the crisis facing Orizonia and said that the government is determined to try and save as many jobs as possible.

But, union shop stewards are not convinced claiming that there is little, or nothing the Balearic government can do to save Orizonia.
Nevertheless, Bauza has made it clear that if there any grounds for legal action to be taken on behalf of the work force, then the Balearic government will do so.

Jaume Grimalt, transport shop steward for the UGT General Workers' Union, yesterday accused the main shareholder in Orizonia, Carlyle UK which has a 55 percent stake in the company, of having acted in a “savage” manner and accused the investment group of being solely responsible for the demise or Orizonia.

Representatives for Carlyle and Vista Capital, the investment wing of Banco Santander which has a 36 percent share, were in Madrid yesterday for talks with union leaders and senior Orizonia bosses in an attempt to salvage something out of the collapse of the tour operator.