It is unclear how many of the 27,000 passengers with bookings on failed airline Debonair will be covered by insurance.

The airline went into the hands of administrators last week.

Tickets sold by ATOL-licenced travel agents should be covered for airline failure under the agent's compulsory insurance schemes, and credit card companies will reimburse the cost of tickets bought through them.

But individuals buying by cash or debit card will be unprotected unless they had taken out the one of the rare travel insurance policies that include cover for airline failure.