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Published on Monday, September 23, 2019

Thomas Cook collapse latest



Thomas Cook has gone into liquidation after last-ditch rescue talks failed.


The CAA has launched the biggest peacetime repatriation in history to ensure 150,000 British holidaymakers can return home as from today.





Meanwhile, up to 20,000 staff - including 9,000 working for Thomas Cook in the UK - have lost their jobs.


Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said all passengers, including those who have booked flight-only tickets, would be repatriated. He described the task as enormous.


"The decision I took was that we would bring everyone home, regardless of whether they have booked an ATOL holiday or flight-only," he told the BBC. 


Administrators were called in when hopes of a rescue deal faded late on Sunday night hours after an all-day meeting between the company and its creditors and biggest shareholders ended.


Thomas Cook chief executive Peter Fankhauser said the company had 'worked exhaustively in the past few days' to get a deal through. He apologised to employees, suppliers and customers.


He said: "Despite huge uncertainty over recent weeks, our teams continued to put customers first, showing why Thomas Cook is one of the best-loved brands in travel."


The CAA said: "Thomas Cook Group, including the tour operator and airline, has ceased trading with immediate effect."


All flights have been cancelled and passengers should not go to the airport, the CAA added.


It said the refund process will begin within the next week and refunds will be made within 60 days.


The CAA has set up a dedicated website: thomascook.caa.co.uk.


A 24-hour helpline has been set up: 0300 303 2800 from the UK and Ireland and +44 1733 330 330 from overseas.


ABTA CEO Mark Tanzer said the association is 'doing all we can to manage enquiries as swiftly as possible'.


Thomas Cook Group Plc operated several businesses that sold holidays and other travel arrangements, including five companies that had ABTA membership: Thomas Cook Retail Ltd; Thomas Cook Tour Operations Ltd; TCCT Retail Ltd; Future Travel Ltd and Freedom Travel Group Ltd.


Its airline business is not an ABTA member.  


Tanzer added: "ABTA's immediate aim is to help Members and customers to understand what steps they need to take. We will be providing additional staff resource to help us to support members and customers but we are expecting this to be an exceptionally busy period."


ABTA has set up a web page with advice for customers.

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