Hatts Travel: Jobs go and hundreds of customers hit
A travel company in Wiltshire has gone into administration with the loss of 89 jobs and a knock-on effect on hundreds of customer bookings.
Staff have been made redundant at Hatts Travel across its offices and depots in Chippenham, Devizes and Salisbury.
As many as 1,000 customers have already made bookings with the specialist coach and holiday tour operator.
The group, which also includes Bodmans Coaches and HQT Ltd, employs about 108 staff.'Dedicated helpline'
The holiday company's website previously said all monies paid to HQT ((Hatts Quality Travel Ltd) would be held in a "Client Trust Account" which has been included by the administrator in its investigation.
Andrew Sheridan, partner and joint administrator, added: "Our priority right now is to contact and provide dedicated helpline support for those members of the general public who have paid for holidays, day trips and other private hire with Hatts.
"We will ensure that they are advised of their statutory rights under the Consumer Credit Act where, in the first instance, if they have paid by credit or debit card they should make contact with their card providers."
Michael Nutland, from Devizes, who had booked a four-day break in Weymouth in August, said he was "gutted" and "disgusted".
"It's just depressing. The wife's very upset - we just needed it at this time because it's her birthday on Monday and it's just been ruined," he said.
Hatts Travel operates a fleet of about 90 buses and coaches.
In a statement, a Wiltshire Council spokesperson said it had been "working hard" to minimise the impact on users.
"The company operated buses in several parts of Wiltshire, including the Salisbury Park & Ride, and we have been able to cover all of these services using alternative operators," the statement continued.
"We recognise there may be some initial disruption to services and we would like to apologise for the inconvenience this may cause."
The company dates back to 1928 and has been under the same family ownership for four generations.