Hotelplan UK has suspended all ski holidays across its Inghams, Ski Total and Flexiski brands until 30 January owing to ongoing uncertainty over when Europe’s ski resorts will reopen.
Joe Ponte, Hotelplan UK group chief executive, said the group remained hopeful of a February restart, and stressed those with January bookings would be offered later alternatives or full refunds.
"Following the disappointing news many ski resorts will not be opening their lifts until late January, alongside a number of airlines now cancelling their January flights, we have this week suspended all Inghams, Ski Total and Flexiski ski holidays until after 30 January 2021," said Ponte.
"Once again, we are extremely disappointed for our customers, but we continue to work towards delivering the ski holiday experiences they hope for when the time is right, while putting their safety, and that of our staff at the top of our agenda.
"Our customers can also remain assured that we will continue to do the right thing by them. Those with a January ski holiday booking will be offered an alternative holiday at a later date, or a refund if they want one."
Ponte said the group did not have a clear picture of when ski resorts would reopen, with each country "seeming to have a different view". "We continue to monitor the situation closely," said Ponte.
"We will continue to look at the most appropriate ways of delivering the holidays people want at each destination, considering how we can ensure everyone is kept as safe as possible, and informing our customers of any developments as soon as we can.
"While many resorts have not been able to open their lifts in January, we remain hopeful that we will be able to deliver the ski holidays people want in February 2021, and we understand people are eager to get back on the slopes."
Ponte added the group retained the backing of its Swiss parent Migros, and had no intention of sinking into "complete hibernation" – stressing the business and its brands would be ready to deliver ski holidays "bigger and better than before" when the time is right.
"We’re already drawing on years and years of know-how as a business, alongside the top expertise from our experienced teams, to make plans for the future of our brands," said Ponte.
"While March remains the most popular month for ski bookings this season, we continue to see increasing numbers for winter 2021/22, and when the time is right, we plan to be offering our customers the ski holidays they expect and more."