Sussex

School-trips saved as Pinnacle Travel enters administration

Skiers using a chair-lift
Image caption Many of the school trips are ski holidays

Thousands of children's school trips are set to be saved after a Sussex-based travel company stepped in when a neighbouring operator collapsed.

More than 100 schools had booked trips with Pinnacle Travel, of Haywards Heath, which is in administration.

Visions Holiday Group, in nearby Bolney, has bought its advance bookings to enable the trips to go ahead.

Pinnacle, which has around a dozen staff, said none of its clients were currently abroad.

Pinnacle Travel, which specialises in tailor-made school trips, called in administrators on Wednesday.

Bookings 'honoured'

Pinnacle managing director Nigel Parker blamed "exceptional circumstances" for his company's collapse, citing disruption caused by the volcanic ash cloud last year, which grounded hundreds of flights, and escalating air fares.

Administrator Antony Batty & Co said the advance bookings had been sold to Visions Holiday Group, enabling them to be honoured.

Antony Batty spokesman Simon Parker said: "Fortunately, because it is the beginning of term, there were no school trips abroad, although there were a number of bookings for the future."

The administrator said schools would be offered the choice of a refund or continue with their bookings through Visions Holiday Group.

It said Pinnacle Travel was fully Abta-bonded and held an Atol licence, which meant all customers with forward bookings would be protected.

Those travelling by air would need to pay again but claim back the original payment through Atol. The coach trips would be covered by the Abta protection.

Brighton-based SkiClass also said it would be helping to ensure school ski trips could go ahead.

The collapse is the latest in a series among UK travel firms in the wake of the global recession.

Last month Brighton-based Holidays 4 UK went into administration, just 12 months after the same happened to Sun4U and Goldtrail.

Earlier this year the largest coach operator in Wales, Diamond Coach Holidays, suffered a similar fate.

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