FTI Touristik, Europe’s third-largest tour operator, has filed for bankruptcy, citing weaker than expected bookings and suppliers’ demand for advance payment.

The company is the parent of FTI Group, which has two Maltese subsidiaries – FTIAS Limited and Meeting Point Malta.

The two companies employ some 110 people from their offices in Smart City.

FTIAS is in negotiations with its parent company to secure jobs, according to Times of Malta.

FTI Group also operates the Labranda Riviera Hotel & Spa in Mellieħa.

The bankruptcy comes just weeks after FTI annouced a €125 million investment by an investor consostium led by travel and tourism investment firm Certares.

However, a statement by the group said that “since then, booking figures have fallen well short of expectations despite the positive news. In addition, numerous suppliers have insisted on advance payment. As a result, there was an increased need for liquidity, which could no longer be bridged until the closing of the investor process.

“The filing for insolvency has therefore become necessary for legal reasons.”

The company has now set up a support website for travelers, and warned that any trips from 4th June are likely to no longer be possible.

While the impact of the bankruptcy on Malta still needs to be evaluated, the local tourism sector is not as dependent on FTI as it once was, with the firm now only responsible for a fraction of arrivals to the country.

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