Over the weekend, media reports spoke of a renewed financial shortfall in the double-digit million range, and talks were held with the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Economics. Now, however, the company sees no other way out. An application for the opening of insolvency proceedings has been filed with the Munich Local Court.

According to the information provided, initially only the tour operator brand FTI Touristik is directly affected by this. Subsequently, however, corresponding applications will also be filed for other Group companies. The Berlin-based subsidiary Windrose Finest Travel will continue its business operations. The FTI Group does not include the TV channel Sonnenklar.TV - which is owned by Meine Volksbank Raiffeisenbank - or TVG with its franchise travel agencies, which are operated under the Sonnenklar.TV, 5 vor Flug and Flugbörse brands.

Reluctance to book after long investor process

A support hotline (+49-89-710451498) and a website with FAQs and contacts have been set up for all customers of the tour operator group.

After a lengthy and complex investor process, FTI announced in April 2024 that a consortium of investors led by the US company Certares had joined the company. Since then, however, booking figures have fallen well short of expectations despite the positive news about the investor entry, according to the company. Media reports around the ITB had already caused a reluctance to book, and FTI CEO Karl Markgraf admitted the significant decline at the Schmetterling conference.

Hotels and airlines wanted advance payment

"In addition, numerous suppliers insisted on advance payment. As a result, there was an increased need for liquidity, which could no longer be bridged until the investor process was finalised. It therefore became necessary to file for insolvency for legal reasons," said the organiser.

The tour operator is currently working at full speed to ensure that the tours that have already started can be completed as planned. Tours that have not yet started are expected to be cancelled or only partially completed from tomorrow, Tuesday. FTI has been unable to take bookings since Sunday, initially due to technical problems.

In cooperation with the provisional insolvency administrator yet to be appointed, a concept for the ongoing information of the affected travellers and the operational implementation of the necessary measures will be worked on in the coming days, it is further stated.

FTI is covered by the German Travel Security Fund (DRSF). The tour operator had to deposit a cash deposit of 200 million euros as security.

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Second major insolvency in Europe

Following the bankruptcy of the Thomas Cook Group in September 2019, the insolvency of FTI, which generated revenue of €4.1 billion in the last financial year, is the second major insolvency in the European tour operator market. The FTI Group employs a total of 11,000 people, the majority of whom work abroad.

The subsidiary Meeting Point includes incoming agencies all over the world and around 60 hotels, most of which are not owned by the company. FTI is also active as a tour operator in Austria, Switzerland, France and the Netherlands.

Editor: Haber Merkezi