German tour operator Fischer Reisen has stopped selling package holidays amid a legal dispute but denies any plans to declare insolvency.
The Berlin-based company was relaunched by Vaclav Fischer in 2014, 18 years after he sold the firm to Thomas Cook airline Condor, which closed it down just four years later. The Czech-born entrepreneur aimed to re-establish Fischer Reisen as a niche tour operator selling a broad range of package holidays, mostly in Mediterranean destinations.
But it appears he was only able to generate a low number of bookings. Fischer confirmed to fvw that the company stopped taking bookings on January 28 this year and the final holidays took place between February and May.
However, insurance company R&V already cancelled its insolvency protection contract with the company in November 2015. Nevertheless, holidaymakers who booked later still received R&V insolvency protection certificates as part of their package bookings.
In January, the luxury holidays portal Secret Escapes, which sold some 6,000 Fischer Reisen holidays in the last two years, discovered that Fischer Reisen no longer had insolvency protection and terminated cooperation with the company.
But Fischer declared to fvw that the insurance certificates had been valid and claimed Secret Escapes had demanded advance payments of 30% from holidaymakers without handing out the certificates as part of the package booking.
The entrepreneur stressed that his company, Fly Fischer GmbH, which traded under ‘Fischer Reisen’, “has no reason to declare insolvency”. He said the relaunch had failed because “it had not been accepted by travel agencies and customers” but stressed the company continued to represent several hotels and transport companies as a sales agent, and would remain in business.