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Tour operator Thomas Cook collapses

Tour operator Thomas Cook collapses

| @indiablooms | 23 Sep 2019, 04:48 am

London: After the last-minute negotiations which aimed at saving the firm failed, tour operator Thomas Cook has collapsed.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said the 178-year-old tour operator has 'ceased trading with immediate effect'.

"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. There are currently more than 150,000 Thomas Cook customers abroad, almost twice the number that were repatriated following the failure of Monarch," read a statement issued by CAA.

"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," it said.

The government has asked the UK Civil Aviation Authority to launch a repatriation programme over the next two weeks, from Sept 23 to Oct 6 to bring Thomas Cook customers back to the UK.

"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," read the statement issued by CAA.

Passengers in a small number of destinations may return on alternative commercial flights, rather than directly through the Civil Aviation Authority's flying programme. Details and advice for these passengers are available on the dedicated website.

The Civil Aviation Authority has 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.

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.

"Customers currently overseas should not travel to the airport until their flight back to the UK has been confirmed on the dedicated website," read the statement.

Thomas Cook customers in the UK yet to travel should not go to the airport as all flights leaving the UK have been cancelled, read the statement.

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," Richard said.

“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," he said.

 

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