World’s oldest travel operating firm Thomas Cook collapsed on Monday, leaving hundreds and thousands of holidaymakers stranded across Europe and sparking the largest peacetime repatriation effort in British history.
As per the reports, at least 600,000 vacationers had booked through the company, which remain cancelled now. In this situation, the British government has asked the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority to launch a repatriation programme over the next two weeks, starting from Monday to October 6, to bring Thomas Cook customers back to the UK.
The demise of Thomas Cook marks the end of one of Britain’s oldest companies that started life in 1841. With it’s collapse, the firm has ceased trading, its four airlines will be grounded, and its 21,000 employees in 16 countries, including 9,000 in the UK, will lose their jobs. The firm has been running hotels, resorts and airlines for 19 million people a year. The company has 1.7 billion pounds ($2.1 billion) of debt.
The 178-year-old company several months ago had blamed a slowdown in bookings because of online competition, a changing travel market and geopolitical events and Brexit uncertainty for contributing to its crushing debt burden.
The firm had said on Friday that it was seeking 200 million pounds ($250 million) to avoid going bust and was in weekend talks with shareholders and creditors to stave off failure.