Greek online travel agency Airtickets.gr suspends their operation after years of successful presence in the online travel industry. Tripsta S.A., the parent company that controls “Airtickets” and “Travelplanet24” announced the suspension on Thursday, adding however, that acquired tickets will be served. The suspended operation leaves 180 without work and triggers great concern in the branch.
Greek media report on Thursday, that Tripsta SA CEO, Philipp Brinkmann, gathered the 180 employees on Wednesday and told them that they will be fired. 80 people were recently fired at the company’s remote office in Bucharest, Romania.
Only employees at the company’s Customer Service will work in Athens and Bucharest until the end of July for the customers who have already bought tickets.
Tripsta S.A. is the parent company of airtickets.gr and travelplanet24, online travel agencies that provide transportation services—including airlines, ferry and train – through their websites. Tripsta S.A. operates in over 45 countries and territories and in over 34 languages.
In a statement, tripsta and airtickets announced that “they are due to restructure their operations in the coming days and temporarily suspend the issuance of future airline tickets.”
The statement said further, that the “company website work and will function normally. The tickets issued and the bookings of all customers continue to be in full force.”
The statement makes reference to “liquidity problems” and notes among others “despite the constant efforts of companies to cope with the unjust and unjust behavior of their associates and specific multinational ticketing and ticket management companies, unfortunately the unprecedentedly unfair, aggressive and abusive behavior towards them has drained their cash reserves suddenly.”
The company stresses that “the business plan that has been implemented, the cut in costs and the balancing of the liquidity problems of companies with zero bank lending have already begun to deliver positive results and have created wise prospects for their business upturn.” the company blames “multinational competitors” for the problems it faces and threatens with legal measures.
According to capital.gr, that has also the full tripsta statement in Greek, also Travelplanet24.com suspends its operation.
“Until the end of 2017, there were no signs predicting such a development,” news247.gr notes. According to exclusive information by the Greek news portal, a black hole in the company’s finances was confirmed by one of Big 4 election companies. Efforts to find a strategic investor in the Brinkmann’s home country, the Netherlands were in vain.”
One should note, though, that 38-year-old Brinkmann is Greek-German.
According to news website thetoc.gr, “the market froze on 15. June 2018 when it was learned that Tripsa did not respond to the Billing and Settlement Plan (BSP) and it had come in agreement with IATA to pay in installments with the biggest one in upcoming October. However, one airline was excluding Tripsa from its system with the alleged effect that the company could not meet its obligations,” thetoc.gr notes.
The company was founded in 2005, originally under the brand name travelplanet24, by Philipp Brinkmann (CEO) and Kristof Keim (CCO) in Athens, Greece. In 2010, Tripsta S.A. was formed in response to European expansion.
By 2010, Tripsta S.A. entered its first foreign market in Poland and by 2015 expanded to forty-five additional markets.
In 2014, the company received 3.5 million EUR in funding for growth from the European Investment Fund.
In March 2015, Tripsta S.A. acquired and integrated its competitor airtickets®. The acquisition made Tripsta S.A. the largest ecommerce company in the country.
According to wikipedia, as of 2017, the company serves over one million customers.
the start-up was proud to be seelling an average of 3 million tickets per year.
Tripsta S.A. maintains its headquarters in Athens, Greece and has a remote office in Bucharest, Romania.