Thomas Cook collapses, potentially leaving thousands of travelers stranded

23 Septembre, 2019, 07:24 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Despite last-minute attempts at a rescue British travel firm Thomas Cook filed for bankruptcy protection

The Civil Aviation Authority said Thomas Cook has ceased trading, its four airlines will be grounded, and its 21,000 employees in 16 countries, including 9,000 in the United Kingdom, will lose their jobs. The company several months ago had blamed a slowdown in bookings because of Brexit uncertainty for contributing to its crushing debt burden.

The company operates more than 100 passenger jets and announced early Monday that it had gone into administration after the failure of last-minute talks.

Peter Fankhauser said: "We have worked exhaustively in the past few days to resolve the outstanding issues on an agreement to secure Thomas Cook's future".

"I would like to apologize to our millions of customers, and thousands of employees", he said in a statement.

The number of stranded passengers is nearly twice the number involved in the previous biggest peacetime repatriation program after the 2017 collapse of Monarch Airlines.

The British Government and the aviation regulator have drawn up a plan to use other companies and airlines to bring Britons home. Also, some carriers will seek opportunities regarding Thomas Cook most substantial assets: fleet and airport slots.

Details of the repatriation program are available on a dedicated website, http://thomascook.caa.co.uk/. "So there are bound to be problems and delays", he said.

The UK's Civil Aviation Authority said on Monday that Thomas Cook had now ceased trading and would work with the Government to bring the more than 150,000 British customers home over the next two weeks.

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Thomas Cook's 178-year existence was hanging by a thread on Sunday after the iconic British travel firm struggled to find further private investment and is now relying on an unlikely government bailout.

If you didn't book a package: Thomas Cook customers that only booked a hotel and no package will not be bailed out by the CAA. Heat waves over the past couple of summers in Europe have also led many people to stay at home, while higher fuel and hotel costs have weighed on the travel business.

Thomas Cook's financial difficulties also raised questions about the jobs of the 22,000 people employed by the company around the world, including 9,000 in Britain.

Security guards at the Les Orangers beach resort near Tunis kept the gates locked shut last night while staff demanded money, guests said.

It was like "being held hostage", said Farmer, who is due to leave Tuesday.

Conservative Party minister Brandon Lewis told Sky News on Sunday that it would be "inappropritate" for him to comment on the negotiations, but said that he hoped "they come to a positive conclusion".

For decades, tour operators such Thomas Cook and Germany's TUI AG thrived by offering package holidays to sun-starved Europeans.

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