Greek OTA group Tripsta has suspended operations after reportedly accumulating debts of more than €70 million to airlines.
The company operates the airtickets and Trispta brands with offices in Athens and Bucharest in Romania.
Tripsta blamed the “unjust and unexpected behaviour of certain partners and specifically multi-national global distribution systems” for the situation.
As a result “Tripsta and airtickets were unable to withstand the unfair and aggressive behaviour that was directed towards them”.
The GDS involved was not named initially but Trispta then identifed Travelport to local media as the specific GDS provider and threatened legal proceedings.
Travelport said it “firmly denied any wrongdoing” and would “vigorously” defend itself against any legal action.
In a statement, Tripsta said its operations would be “significantly restructured” within months but the issuing of new airline tickets was temporarily suspended.
“A new business plan had been recently implemented that performed with positive results,” Tripsta said.
“This plan included an innovative agreement with Iata for the repayment of their financial obligations and had a favourable outcome for all parties involved.
”Unfortunately, certain partners who expected temporary benefits rather than standing assets, undermined this agreement and prevented Tripsta and airtickets from successfully executing their plan, and ultimately from surviving.
“These partners created such a massive liquidity problem that made it impossible for Tripsta and airtickets to continue functioning properly.
“It goes without saying that Tripsta and airtickets are taking legal actions to seek justice for this unethical situation.
“Since this legal process will be time-consuming, the difficult decision was made to restructure the organisation and suspend the issuing of future airline tickets.
“The organisation’s first priority in this process was to fully protect and provide all accrued and legal compensation to their employees and pay off any required payments to the state.
“Tripsta and airtickets were, and still are, the largest Greek companies in the industry and the only ones that competed directly with multinational competitors.
“The management and employees will remain dedicated to serving their clients throughout this turbulent time.
“Tripsta and airtickets will continue to provide information on further developments in the coming weeks.”
Speaking to Travolution in July 2016, Tripsta founder Philipp Brinkmann said airlines had started to view Greek OTAs differently following the collapse of AirFastTickets which failed owing airline millions of euros.
He said the future of Tripsta was a multi-modal website. “We are already in flight ticket sales in the top five in Europe,” he said. “We want to play a leading role in the transportation space online.
“Our aim is to move away from flights only and offer all means of transportation to consumers, and even to combine these means of transportation.
“There is no real OTA in the multi-modal space, most firms are metasearch. In the airline sector everyone is used to meta, but in multi-modal having multiple user interfaces isn’t user friendly.
“Our idea is to really do the whole fulfilment and everything for the customer.”
A notification on the Tripsta website said: “We’ve temporarily suspended our service of issuing new flight tickets.
“In the case of existing bookings, your tickets remain valid. If you need to make any changes to your reservation you can contract the respective airline directly.”