Sun holiday allegations discounted in inquiry


AN investigation by the office of the Director of Consumer Affairs into claims that Thomson Holidays may not be able to supply flights advertised in its brochures has found in favour of the company.

However, the sun holiday market this summer is massively over supplied, and an industry representative has said corrective action will have to be taken over the next month.

The investigation, following claims last month that Thomson Holidays was offering flights for which it had not signed an airline contract, covered all tour operators.

Though it is not yet complete, the office of the Director of Consumer Affairs, Mr William Fagan, has stated that there is no reason to fear "wholesale let down of consumers " Thomson Holidays has its own airline and Aer Rianta has confirmed to Mr Fagan's office that "slots" are available at Dublin Airport for the times advertised in Thomson brochures, according to a spokeswoman for the office.

There are now 450,000 to 500,000 sun holidays on the market this summer, according to Mr Gerry Bergin, chairman of the Tour Operators' Council of the Irish Travel Agents' Association. This compares with sales of about 370,000 last year.

Mr Bergin said however that he was confident there would not be massive "dumping" of cheap holidays later in the year. "I would say a certain amount of common sense will prevail. Normally what happens is that flights are consolidated. If this is going to happen, it should happen in the coming three or four weeks.