European tour operator FTI Touristik has filed for insolvency at a court in Munich, Germany.

The company, one of the largest tour operators in Europe, said the FTI Touristik brand is directly affected but that insolvency filings will follow for other brands in the group. 

Windrose Finest Travel will continue operations.

The news comes weeks after FTI announced an investment of 125 million euros from an investor consortium led by Certares.

At the time, Karl Markgraf, CEO of FTI Group, said, “We are delighted to announce our partnership with the Certares-led consortium. Certares is a leading investor in the global travel and tourism sector. With support from Certares and its extensive experience in the sector and capital provided by the consortium, FTI is uniquely positioned for future growth and profitability, which benefits all the stakeholders, including our customers, commercial partners and employees.”

A statement on the insolvency said, “After a lengthy and complex investor process, the entry of a consortium of investors was announced in April 2024. Since then, however, booking figures have fallen well short of expectations despite the positive news. In addition, numerous suppliers have insisted on advance payment. As a result, there was an increased need for liquidity, which could no longer be bridged until the closing of the investor process. The filing for insolvency has therefore become necessary for legal reasons.”

Morgann Lesné from travel M&A investment bank Cambon Partners said that many wouldn’t have seen the collapse coming, with FTI considered “too big to fail.” Lesné added that B2B suppliers would be counting the cost of their exposure.

He also suggested it is “possible a white knight will come in to rescue the company — or even the German government, which stands to lose much with this. Certainly in terms of its strong asset base, we’ll quickly see bidders for its extensive business lines.”

The company has set up a support website for travelers, and any trips from June 4 are likely no longer possible.

Services booked with the travel provider FTI Touristik are affected. This includes the FTI brands in Germany, Austria and the Netherlands, the 5vorFlug brand in Germany, BigXtra and the car hire brands DriveFTI and Cars and Campers.

A insolvency administrator has not yet been appointed.

Source: PhocusWire

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