Tour operator XL Leisure Group, the parent of in-house carrier XL Airways, has gone into administration and all flights are being cancelled with immediate effect.

The company, the operations of which are primarily UK-based but which includes divisions in France and Germany that are still operating, has been in discussions on a refinancing package. It claims to be the third-largest tour operator in the UK and has several travel brands.

A statement on the XL website says administrators were appointed by the courts early this morning for XL Leisure Group, XL Airways UK, Excel Aviation, Explorer House, Aspire Holidays, Freedom Flights, Freedom Flights (Aviation), The Really Great Holiday Co, Medlife Hotels, Travel City Flights and Kosmar Villa Holidays.

The French and German divisions of the XL Group "continue to trade as normal", however.

"The companies entered into administration having suffered as a result of volatile fuel prices, the economic downturn, and were unable to obtain further funding," the statement says.

"The Joint Administrators cannot continue trading the business and therefore all flights operated by the companies have been immediately cancelled and the aircraft grounded. Going forward, the Joint Administrators are unlikely to be able to trade the business or operate the aircraft."

XL Airways served destinations in Europe, North America and the Mediterranean region, using Airbus and Boeing narrowbodies and widebodies. It recently opted to cut long-haul routes to the Caribbean.

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Source: Air Transport Intelligence news