Western & Oriental Travel winds up key2holidays

close its ski programme and wind up online consumer brand key2holidays.

The luxury travel group, which separated from Western & Oriental plc on Friday and went into private ownership, will focus on trade brands W&O Travel and Regent Holidays as it seeks to draw a line under a difficult year.

The company will announce the closures today as it begins a staff consultation on potential redundancies. It is understood up to 19 jobs will go from among a workforce of 112, but the company is looking to redeploy people.

New owner and chairman Raj Kumar stressed he plans to expand the company as soon as the business is stabilised following uncertainty about the future of the former W&O group on the London Stock Market. The group announced its travel division was up for sale a year ago.

Kumar bought Western & Oriental Travel for £1.5 million this month after buying a minority stake last August. He had previously sold key2holidays to W&O in 2007.

The travel company will be reduced in size by about one third following its separation from the events business and closure of key2holidays and the ski programme.

However, Kumar said: “This is a quality business with some real gems in its portfolio and it is being run well.” He has promised to invest £4 million to fund “organic growth”.

The events division of the former group will remain as a wholly separate, unlisted company – for the moment c