SINGAPORE: Online travel agent Asiatravel.com and its subsidiaries may have their licences suspended by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), after the company's auditor flagged concerns about its "ability to continue as a going concern" due to its losses and liabilities.
Auditor Ernst and Young noted that Asiatravel.com incurred a net loss of S$34.6 million for its 2017 financial year. The group's liabilities also exceeded their assets by S$11 million as of end last year.
Meanwhile, the group's controlling shareholder also missed a scheduled payment deadline to provide S$7.35 million in funding to Asiatravel.com by Jun 30, which is "critical to the group’s continuing operations and payment of its debt".
In a media advisory on Friday (Jul 13), STB said that it served Asiatravel.com and its subsidiaries - AT Reservation Network, AT Express and SH Tours - a Notice of Intent to Suspend on grounds of public interest.
"The Board is cognisant that Asiatravel and its subsidiaries are unable to fulfil some of their outstanding obligations to their business partners and customers," said STB.
It added that Asiatravel and its subsidiaries have 14 days to submit reasons to show why they should not have their travel agent licences suspended.
"During this period, Asiatravel and its subsidiaries will still be required to ensure that consumer bookings are not affected, and make good all existing obligations to their consumers and industry partners," said STB.
They are also required to inform all customers of the notice of intent to suspend with immediate effect, STB said.
Asiatravel.com describes itself as "Asia's leading online travel company" with 17 offices in Asia, Middle East and Europe, according to its corporate profile on its website.
It was listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange in 2001. Trading in shares of Asiatravel has been suspended since Jul 6.