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Dublin: 18°C Thursday 18 August 2022

'A very difficult day': Travel agency USIT goes into liquidation due to coronavirus

USIT, which specialises in student travel, employs 76 people in Dublin, Cork, Galway, and Limerick.

Image: Gareth Chaney/Photocall Ireland!

THE KINLAY GROUP, which operates USIT Ireland and The English Studio, has gone into liquidation due to “the tsunami of effects related to the Covid-19 pandemic”. 

The company’s board said after exploring all other possible alternatives, it has had “no option” but to apply to the court to have a provisional liquidator appointed to their businesses.   

USIT, which specialises in student travel, volunteer and work abroad programmes employs 76 people in Dublin, Cork, Galway, and Limerick. Staff were told of the decision today. 

“This is a very difficult day for our talented and passionate teams all of whom work so hard to create great experiences for our customers,” Elaine Russell, CEO of USIT, said. 

“The team and I are truly devastated at the impact this closure will have on all our customers who were either looking forward to trips they had booked with USIT or were studying with us at The English Studio.”

USIT said its management will support customers to “assess their options” but that the outcome for people who have recently booked with the agency is still “uncertain”.

According to the Kinlay Group, the English Studio, which employs 31 people, had reached a position where it was no longer possible to trade as a result of the Covid-19 impacts, leaving the company with “no option” but to apply to the court for the appointment of the liquidators.

 “Only a short few weeks ago, both USIT and the English School were trading successfully and we had exciting plans for the future, but the tsunami of effects related to the Covid-19 pandemic has left us with no business whatsoever and no possibility of overcoming these challenges,” David Andrews, Chairman of Kinlay Group, said. 

A third business owned by Kinlay Group, Teach & Travel Group, which is based in Leeds and provides online TEFL training, will continue to trade normally and is “unaffected” by the liquidation. 

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Adam Daly

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