Thomas Cook collapses leaving 150,000 British citizens stranded overseas
Thomas Cook has collapsed in the early hours of this morning after last-minute negotiations to save the 178-year-old holiday firm failed on Sunday.
The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said the tour operator had ‘ceased trading with immediate effect’, triggering the biggest ever peacetime repatriation.
An estimated 150,000 British holidaymakers will now need to be brought home.
Peter Fankhauser, Thomas Cook’s chief executive, said the firm’s collapse was a ‘matter of profound regret’.
Mr Fankhauser apologised to the firm’s ‘millions of customers, and thousands of employees’ – the tour operator’s failure puts 22,000 jobs at risk worldwide, including 9,000 in the UK.
The government has reportedly chartered 45 jets to bring customers home and they will fly 64 routes on Monday, in an undertaking dubbed Operation Matterhorn. The size of the fleet will make it temporarily the UK’s fifth-largest airline.
Operators including easyJet and Virgin have supplied some aircraft, with jets coming from as far afield as Malaysia.
Customers can visit the CAA’s special Thomas Cook website.
Those scheduled to return to the UK within the next 48 hours or who are having problems with their accommodation or need special assistance can ring 0300 303 2800 in the UK or +44 1753 330 330 from abroad.
Any customers in Benidorm in need of support or assistance can call Benidorm Holidays Ltd on + 44 8000 588922 or +34 961 140 444.