THE Helensburgh branch of Hays Travel is to permanently close this week.

The announcement was made on social media on Thursday afternoon with the store admitting the current coronavirus pandemic and subsequent surge in holiday cancellations, combined with a sharp fall in future bookings, is largely to blame.

The East Princes Street shop only opened up in October last year after replacing the collapsed Thomas Cook firm.

A post on the Hays Travel Helensburgh branch's Facebook page said: "We regret to inform our customers that we will be permanently closing from 3pm on the 20th of March 2020.

READ MORE: Helensburgh staff flying high as Hays replaces Thomas Cook

"We would like to thank all of our customers for their support and understanding.

"If anyone has a current booking with us please contact Hays Travel Clydebank on 0141 530 1550 who will be able to assist with any queries you may have.

"Please follow Hays Travel Clydebank and Hays Travel Alexandria to continue seeing the fantastic deals that we have been promoting.

"The Helensburgh team are being re-deployed to other Hays Travel stores in our area.

"We hope you can continue to support Hays Travel and we hope to see our customers again in the near future."

READ MORE: Thomas Cook collapse: How Advertiser readers were affected

A previous post on Monday pleaded with the public to support the travel industry during this turbulent period.

It read: "Now more than ever please support our travel industry and if you are able to change your booking rather than cancel it, please consider doing this.

"Like many businesses we really need your support through this crisis."