Matt Frei 10am - 1pm
Thomas Cook Collapses: 150,000 Stranded On Their Holiday
23 September 2019, 08:30
The collapse of travel firm Thomas Cook has left 150,000 British people stranded on their holidays.
The tour operator Thomas Cook has ceased trading with immediate effect after failing in a final bid to secure a rescue package from creditors.
More than 150,000 British holidaymakers are currently abroad and will need to be repatriated as a result of the 178-year-old firm's collapse, the Civil Aviation Authority said.
The CAA said in a statement: "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.
"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."
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced the Government and CAA has hired dozens of charter planes to fly customers home free of charge.
In a statement, the Department for Transport (DfT) said all customers currently abroad with Thomas Cook who are booked to return to the UK over the next two weeks will be brought home as close as possible to their booked return date.
Thomas Cook package holiday customers will also see the cost of their accommodation covered by the Government, through the Air Travel Trust Fund or Atol scheme, the DfT said.
Mr Shapps said: "Thomas Cook's collapse is very sad news for staff and holidaymakers.
"The Government and UK CAA is working round the clock to help people.
"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 airports.
"But the task is enormous, the biggest peacetime repatriation in UK history. So there are bound to be problems and delays."
Please try to be understanding with the staff who are trying to assist in what is likely to be a very difficult time for them as well.
"The group's four airlines will be grounded and its 21,000 employees in 16 countries, including 9,000 in the UK, will be left unemployed.The company also operated around 600 UK high street stores.