Stranded Brits Expected Home on Schedule

Up to 85K were overseas when holiday firm went bust
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 13, 2008 11:49 AM CDT
Passengers who lost their flights wait near XL Airways check-in desks at Gatwick Airport in London, Sept. 12, 2008.    (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
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(Newser) – The  sudden collapse of XL Airways left as many as 85,000 passengers marooned in foreign lands, but they're now expected to get home on schedule, or at least only a little late, the Times of London reports. Aviation authorities plan a vast airlift to take home the stranded, but industry-watchers warn that the industry's woes are far from over.

The soaring fuel costs that brought XL crashing to earth are causing hard times even at  the most solid airlines, analysts say, and will wipe out many of the weaker ones—possibly by the dozen. "We have seen 30 worldwide go,” said British Airways boss Willie Walsh. “I would be very surprised if it is not something similar to that in the next three or four months."