Airline chief hits out at 'whispering campaign'

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THE head of Flyglobespan has called for an end to the "whispering campaign of negativity" against the airline following reports questioning its future.

Tom Dalrymple, the chairman of the Scottish carrier, said it was debt-free and "extremely well-positioned to see through the well-documented problems facing the industry".

In a letter to the media yesterday, Dalrymple said: "I don't know who is trying to destabilise us by putting out these rumours – but they are wasting their time. Our customers, thankfully, are ignoring them as our planes are full and our advance bookings are very healthy."

The letter came a day after Dalrymple hit back in The Scotsman over a report that a bookmaker had offered 6-4 odds on the airline being the next to go under.

In his letter, Dalrymple said debt had been the common denominator among recent airline casualties, such as XL, which he said had had a huge management buy-out loan to service. However, the Flyglobespan chairman said his airline had "no such problems".

He added: "We have no debt, and, in addition, have substantial cash assets, built up over 30 years of successful trading as the Globespan Group. We have significant property assets in the UK, France and Spain – and, most importantly, have a strong and powerful business model."

Flyglobespan operates to 23 destinations and employs some 1,300 staff. It reported losses of 13 million last year following problems with unreliable aircraft on transatlantic routes.

Dalrymple continued: "The soaring price of airline fuel has led to some rapid re-evaluation of business plans but, despite these difficulties and a general economic slowdown, we have performed well and put last year's problems firmly behind us."

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