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Thomas Cook: British Travel Firm Collapses, Stranding Hundreds of Thousands

Thomas Cook: British Travel Firm Collapses, Stranding Hundreds of Thousands :- Thomas Cook which is the world’s oldest travel firm, collapsed on Monday, leaving hundreds of thousands of holidaymakers stranded around the globe and sparking the largest peacetime repatriation effort in British history.

Thomas Cook: British Travel Firm Collapses

The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority said, “Thomas Cook had now ceased trading and the regulator would work with the government to bring more than 150,000 British customers home over the next two weeks.”

In the early hours of Monday, the statement released by the authority says, “Due to the significant scale of the situation, some disruption is inevitable, but the Civil Aviation Authority will endeavour to get people home as close as possible to their planned dates. Thomas Cook has ceased trading so all Thomas Cook flights are now cancelled.”

As per Chief Executive Peter Fankhauser, it was a matter of profound regret that the company had gone out of business after it failed to secure a rescue package from its lenders in frantic talks that went through the weekend.

He further said, “I would like to apologise to our millions of customers, and thousands of employees, suppliers, and partners who have supported us for many years.”

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Reportedly, the firm runs hotels, resorts, and airlines for 19 million people per year across 16 countries. It currently has 600,000 people abroad, forcing governments and insurance companies to coordinate a huge rescue operation.

Pictures posted on social media showed Thomas Cook planes being diverted away from the normal stands of the airport and being deserted as soon as they had landed. Few employees also posted pictures of themselves walking from their last flights. The government and aviation regulator said that due to the scale of the situation some disruption was inevitable. All the company’s flights are cancelled.

Customers were told not to travel to airports until they have been told via a special website – thomascook.caa.co.uk – that they were due on a return flight that was being organised by the government.

The British regulator is also contacting hotels hosting Thomas Cook customers to tell them that they will be paid by the government, through an insurance scheme. That was after some were briefly held in a hotel in Tunisia when staff asked for additional payments to be made.

Transport Minister Grant Shapps said, “Our contingency planning has helped acquire planes from across the world – some from as far away as Malaysia – and we have put hundreds of people in call centres and at the airport.”