Hundreds of holidaymakers have been left stranded abroad after the travel company they booked their trips with went into administration.

Selsdon Travel, in Scarbrook Road, Croydon, announced it had shut down on Monday, leaving about 600 people trapped in destinations including the Middle East, Africa and islands in the Indian Ocean.

Another 4,000 people face having their future holiday plans ruined by the company going into administration, according to UK aviation regulator the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

The CAA has been forced to step in to rescue travellers across the globe by arranging return flights for them at the end of their holidays to allow them to return to the UK.

It has also begun organising refunds to the thousands of customers expecting to travel with the company, which traded under the name

A CAA spokesman said: “Passengers who are currently overseas will be in possession of scheduled airline tickets, which will remain valid.

“Passengers are therefore advised to go to the airport as ticketed to return to the UK.

“Passengers may be required by the hotels to repay for their stay.

“If this is the case, passengers must ensure they are provided with a clear receipt for the payment, which will be required in order to make a claim for a refund of the payment upon return to the UK. Passengers can download a claim form from the CAA website.”

Selsdon Travel entered administration three months ago after it announced new investment was about to be poured into the company.

It is believed the company, which is the third-biggest UK operator in the Maldives, had a turnover of about £35m.

Selsdon Travel bought the domain name dream in 2002 after the latter ceased trading a year earlier.