UK travel firm Thomas Cook collapses, stranding thousands abroad
File image of airport staff at the rear door of a Thomas Cook passenger airplane at Frankfurt airport, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, Nov. 23, 2017. EPA-EFE FILE/MAURITZ ANTIN
Madrid (EFE-EPA).- The world’s oldest travel firm collapsed early on Monday, leaving thousands of holidaymakers stranded and thousands more at risk of losing their jobs.
Thomas Cook announced in a statement that it had gone into administration, leaving more than 150,000 customers stranded abroad and putting 22,000 at risk – almost 41 percent of those in the United Kingdom.
“Thomas Cook UK PLC and associated UK entities have entered Compulsory Liquidation and are now under the control of the Official Receiver,” the statement read. “The UK business has ceased trading with immediate effect and all future flights and holidays are canceled.”
The collapse has prompted the largest repatriation operation from the UK since World War II, with the government and the Civil Aviation Authority hiring dozens of charter flights to fly customers home free of charge.
"News of Thomas Cook's collapse is deeply saddening for the company's employees and customers, and we appreciate that more than 150,000 people currently abroad will be anxious about how they will now return to the UK," Richard Moriarty, the CAA's chief executive, said in a statement.