A BRITISH transfer company has received hundreds of 5* reviews after bringing back 25% of stranded Costa Blanca tourists during the first days of Spain’s coronavirus crisis.
Alicante Transfers played a massive role in the repatriation of thousands of holidaymakers after Spain announced a nationwide lockdown to contain the covid-19 pandemic on Saturday, March 14.
The company brought back ‘10,000 to 11,000’ people over the hectic days following the announcement as businesses went into shutdown and hotels ordered to close.
Costa Blanca hotel association Hosbec said that 40,000 tourists were repatriated between March 14-18, of which the British firm likely moved 25%.
It came as Alicante Transfers battled against ‘€60,000 of losses’ from cancelled bookings immediately following the coronavirus lockdown.
“Companies like us lost almost everything, and more,” owner Dave McQueen told the Olive Press.
“We’ve had to keep up with crazy rules to our VTC licences – from two passengers in a four-seater, to four in an eight-seater, to just one passenger in any private taxi.
“We’ve had to put two 16-seater minibuses out just to pick up four people so one passenger could sit in the front and one passenger sit in the back.”
McQueen added his firm dropped from employing 130 drivers to just three still helping the last tourists leave the Costa Blanca.
He said customers have shown ‘amazing’ solidarity despite the upheaval, however.
“We’ve offered cash refunds or unlimited time vouchers to change the date of transfer – they’re all choosing to change dates.
“Just to show how loyal our customers have been: in the first day of panic, we had over 150 5-star reviews saying how hard we worked to keep everyone informed.
“The consulate weren’t answering calls – so we became the only source of real valuable info.
“We will stay open as long as possible to make sure we get all tourists out.”