Balearic Travel Agents claim national and international Airlines owe them 7 million euros for tickets sold since March and say the mounting debt could put dozens of companies out of business.
“The defaults could lead to the bankruptcy and closure of 20% of Travel Agencies in the coming months, because in many cases they have reimbursed customers who paid flight tickets that didn’t take off because of the coronavirus crisis."
Around 140 travel agencies in the Balearic Islands have complained about the non-payment of tickets by Spanish and foreign airlines.
“We are maintaining contact with the Airlines in order to speed up the process because they have still not paid for tickets sold,” they said.
Some of the customers in Mallorca and the other islands who bought tickets individually or as part of a tourist package have claimed refunds from Travel Agents for national and international trips that were cancelled because of the pandemic.
“Agencies are obliged to reimburse clients for cancelled trips that are part of a tourist package deal, but the Airlines have ignored our claims and we have no income at the moment,” said a Spokesperson.
The Travel Agents admit that some money is trickling in from IAG group, which includes Iberia, Iberia Express, Vueling, British Airways and Aer Lingus as well as the regional subsidiary Air Nostrum and Air Europa, Ryanair, Volotea, EasyJet, Ryanair and all other foreign airlines but stress that "it’s enough to guarantee the liquidity that we need.”
Employees from the 140 agencies are in ERTE and many of the companies only open in the morning, which means business activity is limited and they're hampered by coronavirus quarantine regulations.
"The restrictions on flights to European countries and some Autonomous Communities leaves us without business volume and exacerbates our delicate economic situation.”