Dive specialist tour operator Blue 02 Ltd is the latest casualty of the COVID pandemic in the diving industry, but the Blue O Two brand will live on, via a renaming of Scuba Tours Worldwide Ltd.
The company released the below statement today (15 November 2021):
Dear Customers and Friends
In 2003, we created a company around our love of diving. During this time, we have facilitated more than two million dives for our customers, to some of the best diving locations around the world. It’s been a journey of many highs. And more recently, some significant lows – none of our own making.
Our Greatest Ever Challenge
Covid-19 presented us with the greatest challenge in 18 years of trading. The UK has had the most stringent of travel restrictions in place. They have been consistently changing, hard to understand, and made it almost impossible to deliver what you all love doing the most – diving.
With limited tailored support for our sector, livelihoods and families were affected across the entire travel industry.
The battles we have fought personally coping with the last 20 months of disruption have given us many sleepless nights.
During this period of huge uncertainty, decision-making has been very difficult. In fact, we wished on many occasions we had a crystal ball. Team members have got used to decisions one day having to be reversed overnight – depending on global government guidance andupdates, in particular the UK travel restrictions.
During a very challenging 20 month period, you have been very patient with us and in some cases have had your holiday rescheduled; in some circumstances, several times. We have felt and shared your pain and always tried to do our best for our customers. We are extremely grateful for the support and understanding you have given us.
We also want to acknowledge and thank our fellow team members from the bottom of our hearts for all the hard work and change they have put up with over the past 20 monthsof COVID disruption. We ask that you all be understanding and respectful to them all through this difficult time. Please be gentle with us…
Our Love for Our Customers and our Brand
Throughout this period, our commitment to our customers has never wavered.
We were ecstatic when the UK government removed travel restrictions and we were able to operate again. And recent feedback from you, our friends and customers, made it all worthwhile.
One of our core pillars is ‘One team, being the best we can be’. You, our customers, drive us on to live this truth every day. You are a part of our DNA. Many thousands of you come back to us time and time again and for this we can’t tell you how grateful we are.
We have done everything we can to keep the Blue O Two brand alive – one that both you and we love.
We have given it our all and always remained determined and hopeful. It’s our life’s work and we couldn’t have done it without you.
Recent Changes and Updates to the Travel Industry
Recently, our ATOL license was renewed by the CAA – the travel industry regulator.
Although we were granted a new license to provide packages including flights, the CAA, with consumers best interests in mind, imposed conditions on Blue 02 Limited’s ATOL license. This, as well as refunding many millions of £s, has made it difficult for the Directors to see a way forward for Blue 02 Ltd which protects the interests of our customers in the current COVID climate.
Given the financial damage caused by the pandemic, and despite our relentless best efforts to save Blue 02 Ltd, unfortunately, and with regret, the decision was made to cease trading on 15 November 2021.
A New Hope
The reality of life beyond Blue O Two, our life’s work, was hard to contemplate. In fact, putting that previous sentence into action is the hardest thing we have ever done.
So we are delighted to say that the Blue O Two brand lives on under Scuba Tours Worldwide Limited – which now trades as Blue O Two. We will continue to operate and provide scuba diving liveaboard holidays with the same devoted team of people.
As such, we will be able to provide some existing holidays booked with Blue 02 Limited as planned, to some customers. If you have a live booking or credit note, to see how you are affected by this news, visit our website for more information, or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have opened our hearts to you many times over the years. We have been on many journeys together. And we will continue to dive the world together. We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience and disruption this situation has caused. We can
only hope for your understanding and continued support as we recover from the unprecedented challenges of COVID.
With best wishes,
Jason Strickland and Nathan Tyler