Britains oldest travel firm Thomas Cook has collapsed after last-minute talks to save the 178-year-old company failed in the early hours of Monday morning.
The liquidation has sparked the largest repatriation of UK citizens during peacetime, with approximately 160,000 tourists abroad at the time of the collapse. The UK government has chartered 45 aircraft to replace the grounded Thomas Cook flights in an operation being called ‘Operation Matterhorn’.
A statement on the CAA’s dedicated Thomas Cook website reads:
Thomas Cook has confirmed that all the UK 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 canceled 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.
Divers, in particular, those to Red Sea resorts, have been impacted as a “substantial number” of customers of dive-tour operator blue o two have been affected by the collapse of the Thomas Cook holiday group.
In a statement on Facebook, blue o two have been quick to respond to the crisis and promised to “identify solutions where alternative travel arrangements may be required” and will be “contacting customers in chronological order, by departure date.”
A similar post on RegalDive’s Facebook page reassures customers that they will work on alternative options for those stranded abroad.
Any UK customer of Thomas Cook affected by the crisis can also contact the CAA from overseas at +44 1753 330 330 and by UK freephone at 0300 303 2800.