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Student Travel Agency Takes Over U.S. Rival

April 07, 2002|Jane Engle

The student travel agency STA Travel last week acquired the offices of its former rival, New York-based Council Travel, which filed for bankruptcy protection in February. The court-approved acquisition makes STA the largest student travel agency in the U.S., said Nicholas Thomas, Los Angeles-based president of STA Travel North America.

Thomas said STA would absorb most of Council Travel's 400 staff members and continue to operate most of the former agency's more than 70 branches. Among the few to be closed are one in Westwood and another in Santa Monica because STA already has offices there, at 920 Westwood Blvd. and 411 Santa Monica Blvd., Thomas said. STA now has 130 offices in the U.S. and more than 400 worldwide.

Council Travel was once the largest student travel agency in the U.S. It filed for Chapter 11 reorganization after its parent company, USIT World in Ireland, which reportedly was struggling under millions of dollars of debt, filed a similar action in January.

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