With few funding options, joint-founders Helen Spiller and Glenn Powell secured a home-improvement loan from Marks & Spencer to set up Gemstone Travel in 1993. The pair says M&S still think they renovated a kitchen. Starting out selling cheap airline seats around Europe, the Berkshire-based company now sells tickets world-wide and is also beginning to sell holiday packages. It advertises in national newspapers, via Teletext, and at an appropriately-named web site called www.cheap-flights.co.uk. Gross revenue has grown from £1.5m in 1994 to £16.4m in 1997, creating fresh challenges. Infrastructure lags behind sales. And the company is planning to invest in a new computer system to handle the high volume of transactions.
This profile reflects the company at time of publication and does not reflect any changes that may have subsequently occurred. Fast Track and its sponsors do not endorse, guarantee or recommend investment in any of the companies.