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Youth travel company STA Travel files for insolvency

The owner of one of the world’s biggest youth travel specialists, STA Travel, has filed for insolvency in Switzerland.

It’s not immediately clear how this affects clients of STA Travel in the UK as the company said in a statement that ‘local day-to-day operations by STA Travel may continue around the world’.

The statement said that an external administrator will take over in the next few days and determine the next steps.

It added: “The global magnitude of the pandemic crisis has brought the travel industry to a standstill, including STA Travel. Over recent months, the company took decisive measures to secure the business beyond Covid-19. However, sales have not picked up as anticipated, due to consumer uncertainties, further restrictions and renewed lock-down measures, which are expected to largely continue into 2021. As a consequence, STA Travel Holding AG, is filing for insolvency.

“STA Travel Holding AG very much regrets to not have been able to secure the future of the business under these unprecedented circumstances.”

Founded 49 years ago in Australia, STA has more than 200 stores worldwide, including 52 in the UK where it has a licence to sell more than 34,000 holidays a year.

It was forced to cancel thousands of holidays as the world went into lockdown in March, and it was accused of abandoning young UK clients overseas as air routes began to close down. It has also been accused of refusing to provide cash refunds to those whose trips were cancelled or curtailed.

Linsey McNeill

A journalist and travel writer of 35 years' standing, a once-a-week yogi, terrible skier and out-of-order mum to 2 teens. Previously Editor of, bylines also include The Telegraph, The Times, The Observer, the London Evening Standard, Which? and The South China Morning Post.

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