Thomas Cook has collapsed

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LONDON, England – Thomas Cook has collapsed after last-minute negotiations failed at saving the 178-year-old holiday company. The holiday company spent Sunday in talks with lenders, major shareholder and creditors trying to secure £200 million needed to keep the business afloat, but to no avail.

In a statement, the UK Civil Aviation Authority said: “Thomas Cook Group, including the UK tour operator and airline, has ceased trading with immediate effect.

“All Thomas Cook bookings, including flights and holidays, have now been cancelled.”

“We know that a company with such long-standing history ceasing trading will be very distressing for its customers and employees and our thoughts are with everyone affected by this news.”

Peter Fankhauser, Thomas Cook’s chief executive, said the firm’s collapse was a “matter of profound regret”.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the company’s collapse was “very sad news for staff and holidaymakers”. He urged holidaymakers to be “understanding with staff” amid the “enormous” task of bringing people home.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is also contacting hotels accommodating Thomas Cook customers, who have booked as part of a package, to tell them that the cost of their accommodation will be covered by the government, through the Air Travel Trust Fund and Atol scheme.

The CAA said in a statement: “All Thomas Cook bookings, including flights and holidays, have now been cancelled.

“We know that a company with such long-standing history ceasing trading will be very distressing for its customers and employees and our thoughts are with everyone affected by this news.”

“Due to the unprecedented number of UK customers currently overseas who are affected by the situation, the Civil Aviation Authority has secured a fleet of aircraft from around the world to bring passengers back to the UK with return flights.” 

“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. This will apply to both ATOL protected passengers and those who are not protected.”the CAA said.

The CAA has also launched a special website,  thomascook.caa.co.uk , where affected customers can find details and information on repatriation flights, as well as advice on accommodation for both ATOL and non-ATOL customers.

Thomas Cook has blamed a series of issues for its problems including political unrest in holiday destinations such as Turkey, last summer’s prolonged heatwave and customers delaying booking holidays because of Brexit.

Richard Moriarty, chief executive of the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said:

“News of Thomas Cook’s collapse is deeply saddening for the company’s employees and customers, and we appreciate that more than 150,000 people currently abroad will be anxious about how they will now return to the UK. 

“The government has asked us to support Thomas Cook customers on what is the UK’s largest ever peacetime repatriation.

“We have launched, at very short notice, what is effectively one of the UK’s largest airlines, involving a fleet of aircraft secured from around the world. The nature and scale of the operation means that unfortunately some disruption will be inevitable. We ask customers to bear with us as we work around the clock to bring them home.

“We urge anyone affected by this news to check our dedicated website, thomascook.caa.co.uk, for advice and information.”

 

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