The business interests of Greek travel industry entrepreneur Elias Elia have been further called into question after news that E-Clear, his payment processing company, is now facing a separate legal claim from Canadian operator Go Travel Direct in addition to £35m being sought by the administrators of Globespan.
The claim for C$500,000 (£300,000) follows just a fortnight after the collapse of Globespan, according to the Guardian. The administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers claimed E-Clear had been stalling £35m in payments owed to the Scottish low-cost carrier from credit card customers for months.
As well as Globespan and Go Travel, administrators to the bankrupt Slovakian airline SkyEurope have been chasing E-Clear for outstanding payments.
E-Clear has refused to comment on alleged overdue payments to Go Travel but the delay is likely to raise further concerns over E-Clear.
Hugh Boyle, who with his brother John founded Go Travel 10 years ago, told The Guardian: “I can only suggest that, having not paid me for so long, there is a problem.”
Boyle this week instructed solicitors Mason Hayes to pursue E-Clear through the courts.
Boyle, who was the founder of bankrupt Zoom Airlines, said he had met with E-Clear’s chief executive, Elias Elia, in London in the run up to Christmas but had become worried that payments were repeatedly promised but never arrived.
“There were continual delays, talks, assurances it will come ... We have had bank confirmation numbers that are not correct; we have had payments that have gone missing.”
It is still unclear if E-Clear also owes money to Allbury Travel, a Hertfordshire travel agency that ceased trading just before Christmas, leaving the Civil Aviation Authority to repatriate 100 stranded travellers. Allbury, majority controlled by Elia, told suppliers it was “not in a position to make any payments at present”. Administrators have not yet been appointed.