Coronavirus: Alternative Airlines secures £250,000 Barclays business interruption loan

Specialist OTA says money will pay salaries and support tech team

Specialist flights OTA Alternative Airlines has secured a £250,000 Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) cash injection.

The Surrey-based firm said the money will be used to pay staff salaries, as customer enquiries remain high.

And it said a large tech team is required to maintain the website and innovate services for the future.

Alternative Airlines, which was named in the Sunday Times Top Tech 100 in 2019, was launched in 2007 offering a wide choice of 650 carriers and flexible payment options.

Pre-coronavirus, it reported strong growth for three consecutive years, and despite a collapse in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic says it is positive about the future.

Sam Argyle, managing director of Alternative Airlines, said: “COVID-19 has had a significant impact on our revenue, which decreased 92% in April compared to February.

“At the same time, we saw an 800% increase in enquiries for our customer service team.

“The loan will help us continue to pay staff wages, and it’s been vital in helping us maintain security and certainty through this period.

“We would definitely recommend for other entrepreneurs out there: if you believe your business can afford the loan, then CBILS is a fantastic way to raise financing for additional cash flow and maintaining business security.”

Toni Burton, relationship director for southeast London and Kent at Barclays Business Banking added:

“Alternative Airlines is an innovative travel business that was doing really well before the pandemic hit.

“Between 2016 to 2019, they saw rapid growth with revenue doubling year on year.

“The business wanted to ensure its customers were still receiving the highest possible quality of service, and with access to a CBIL, it has been able to do this.

“The loan will also go towards paying its employees’ wages and I’m delighted that we’ve been able to support their business during this time.”