Thomas Cook Group, one of the world’s oldest travel companies, has entered compulsory liquidation ‘effective immediately’. With all flights and tours cancelled, the collapse will affect hundreds of thousands travelers around the world.
It is estimated that at least 600,000 people all across the globe will be affected, forcing governments to coordinate with insurance companies and other airlines to help their citizens return home.
The UK’s civil aviation watchdog has pledged to help some 150,000 Brits currently abroad, but the fate of the remaining customers remains unclear. Meanwhile Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab reassured British travelers that “in the worst-case scenario, the contingency planning is there to avoid people being stranded.”
“I would like to apologize to our millions of customers, and thousands of employees, suppliers and partners who have supported us for many years,” Chief Executive Peter Fankhauser said in a statement released early Monday morning.
Overburdened by a crippling $2.1 billion debt, one of the oldest and largest in the world entered compulsory liquidation after last-ditch efforts to negotiate restructuring failed.
The collapsed travel giant has a history dating back to 1841. It had nearly 22,000 employees serving 19 million customers per year, running hotels, flights and cruises across 16 countries.
THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION WAS POSTED ON THOMAS COOK’S OFFICIAL WEBSITE TODAY:
‘Thomas Cook has confirmed that all the companies in its group have ceased trading, including Thomas Cook Airlines.
As a result, we are sorry to inform you that all holidays and flights provided by these companies have been cancelled and are no longer operating. All Thomas Cook’s retail shops have also closed.
The Government and the Civil Aviation Authority are now working together to do everything we can to support passengers due to fly back to the UK with Thomas Cook between 23 September 2019 and 6 October 2019. Depending on your location, this will be either on CAA-operated flights or by using existing flights with other airlines.
If you are already abroad you will find all the information you need about your arrangements to get home on this website.
If you are due to depart from a UK airport with Thomas Cook Airlines, please do not travel to your UK airport as your flight will not be operating and you will not be able to travel.
This repatriation is hugely complex and we are working around the clock to support passengers.
Customers already abroad
If you are currently abroad and your flight was with Thomas Cook we are providing new flights to return you to the UK. These repatriation flights will only be operating for the next two weeks (until 6 October 2019). After this date you will have to make your own travel arrangements. From a small number of locations, passengers will have to book their own return flights.
For further advice and details of your return journey please read I am currently abroad. Please note that repatriation flights are only available for passengers whose journey originated in the UK.
If you are currently abroad and due to return to the UK after 6 October 2019, please read the additional information section.
If you are ATOL-protected and are having difficulties with your hotel, please read managing difficulties with accommodation.
PLEASE NOTE: Some of Thomas Cook’s package holiday bookings include flights with airlines unrelated to the Thomas Cook Group. If your return flight is not with Thomas Cook’s airline, it will still be valid. However other elements of the package, such as accommodation and transfers will be affected.
Customers yet to travel out of the UK
We are sorry to inform you that all future holidays and flights booked with Thomas Cook are cancelled as of 23 September 2019.
If you are booked on a Thomas Cook Airlines flight, please do not go to your UK airport, as your flight will not be operating. The Civil Aviation Authority’s repatriation programme will not include any outbound flights from the UK.
If you choose to book a new flight with another airline out of the UK, you will not be eligible for a repatriation flight.
PLEASE NOTE: Some of Thomas Cook’s package holiday bookings include flights with airlines unrelated to the Thomas Cook Group. If your return flight is not with Thomas Cook’s airline it may still be valid. However other elements of the package, such as accommodation and transfers might be affected.’