Thomas Cook Collapse
The tour operator and airline Thomas Cook said on Monday that it had collapsed, forcing hundreds of thousands of travelers to scramble to find a way home. The Thomas Cook collapse came after last-minute negotiations to obtain necessary financing for the debt-ridden company failed.
“We are sorry to announce that Thomas Cook has ceased trading with immediate effect,” the company said in a post on Twitter. The Civil Aviation Authority in Britain said that all Thomas Cook bookings, including flights and vacations, had been canceled.
The collapse of the company has set in motion what was being described as the biggest peacetime repatriation in British history, as the government announced plans to bring back 150,000 Britons. A total of 600,000 customers are believed to be affected by this, many of them stranded.
There’s plenty of reports of people stuck at airports, or even worse, being held hostage at hotels. Customers at a hotel in Tunisia say they were prevented from leaving the property on Saturday unless they paid extra fees to cover what was owed by the tour operator.
The BBC reported that the government had chartered 45 jets to get people home. Airlines including easyJet, British Airways and Virgin were providing planes, with some being flown in from as far away as Malaysia.
The tour operator’s failure puts 22,000 jobs at risk worldwide, including 9,000 in the UK. One of the world’s best-known holiday brands, the business was founded in 1841 in Leicestershire by cabinet-maker Thomas Cook.