Travel agency insolvency affects 900 tourists

On Monday morning, Raimonda Balnienė briefed Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius and Economy Minister Evaldas Gustas on the current state of affairs.

“We have notified the prime minister about the situation, which has been brought under control. It was found out Sunday night that there are 902 contracts with obligations to tourists that have not been met. Now we will ask an audit company to make calculations relating to the obligations that have not been fulfilled. The most important thing is that problems with people are resolved,” she told LRT Radio on Monday.

Prosecution in sight

The Lithuanian State Tourism Department will ask prosecutors to launch a probe into Go Planet Travel.

“I’ll sign an official letter shortly. We’ll ask the Prosecutor General’s Office to open an investigation based on the facts we have collected regarding Go Planet Travel. I don’t have anything more to comment,” Raimonda Balnienė, head of the department, told BNS on Monday.

Balnienė said that the letter will be submitted to the prosecutors later on Monday.

The tour operator sent part of its customers abroad even though it knew that they would not receive the services they had paid for, she added.

Based on preliminary estimates, Go Planet Travel failed to meet its obligations to more than 1,000 people.

Lithuania’s charter carrier Grand Cru Airlines terminated its contract with Go Planet Travel on 3 July, saying that the tour operator owed it around 4 million litas (EUR 1.16m).

The State Tourist Department last Friday suspended the insolvent company’s license.

Saulius Vaitkevičius, a Lithuanian businessman, controls 100 percent of shares in Go Planet Travel. WPI Investments, a group owned by Vaitkevičius, has recently purchased the Cyprus-registered holding company Grand Go Group, the owner of a 51-percent stake in Grand Cru Airlines and 100 percent of shares in Go Planet Travel and the incoming tourism company Go Baltic Travel, from Chambi Charalambous.

However, according to data from the Lithuanian Centre of Registers, at the end of May, Grand Cru Airlines was already 100 percent owned by Cyprus’ Brenalan Investments.

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