Thomas Cook folds, 6L tourists stranded
London: Thomas Cook, the world’s oldest travel company, collapsed on Monday, leaving 6,00,000 holidaymakers stranded across the globe and sparking the British government’s biggest repatriation since World War II as it scrambled to bring 150,000 UK tourists back home from far-flung destinations.
The 178-year-old debt-plagued group, which had struggled against fierce online competition for some time and blamed Brexit uncertainty for a recent drop in bookings, declared bankruptcy after failing to secure £200 million (Rs 1,770 crore) from
private investors. Monday’s development, which followed a lengthy period of chronic financial turmoil after a disastrous 2007 merger deal with MyTravel, left Thomas Cook’s 22,000 staff out of job.
British tour operator and airline Thomas Cook collapses after last-minute negotiations aimed at saving the 178-year-old holiday firm failed
Authorities in the United Kingdom launched an official investigation into the corporate collapse, according to a Downing Street spokeswoman who also cautioned that there were “a number of complicated reasons behind the failure”.
Thomas Cook said “despite considerable efforts”, it was unable to reach an agreement between the company’s stakeholders and proposed new money providers. “The company’s board has therefore concluded it had no choice but to take steps to enter into compulsory liquidation with immediate effect,” it added. The long-troubled group has also been blighted by enormous costs arising from its disastrous 2007 merger with MyTravel, a deal which left it plagued with huge levels of debt.
The UK government said it had hired planes to fly home British tourists, in a mass repatriation plan codenamed ‘Operation Matterhorn’ which began immediately. Launching Britain’s “largest repatriation in peacetime history”, transport secretary Grant Shapps said the government and UK civil aviation authority had hired dozens of charter planes to fly home Thomas Cook customers.
As well as grounding its planes, Thomas Cook has been forced to shut travel agencies, leaving the group’s 22,000 global employees — 9,000 of
Britons booked to come back on Monday. Authorities hope to get at least 14,000 of them home on chartered flights
Jets chartered by UK government to bring Britons home
Routes flights will fly on Monday
whom are in UK — out of a job.
Chinese peer Fosun, which was already the biggest shareholder in Thomas Cook, had agreed last month to inject £450 million into the business as part of an initial £900 million rescue package. In return, Fosun was to acquire a 75% stake in Thomas Cook’s tour operating division and 25% of its airline unit. “Fosun is disappointed that
REPATRIATIONS FLIGHTS TO UK
Europe Carribean and Central America
Thomas Cook Group has not been able to find a viable solution for its proposed recapitalisation with other affiliates, core lending banks, senior noteholders and additional involved parties,” it said.
Thomas Cook, which began in 1841, grew into a huge operation but fell into massive debt despite recent annual turnover of £10 billion from transporting about 20 million
Size of the fleet will make it temporarily UK’s fifth-largest airline Holidaymakers stuck abroad customers worldwide. The company’s failure comes just two years after the collapse of UK’s Monarch Airlines.
Thomas Cook’s demise caps a dramatic fall from grace for a company which was demoted from London’s FTSE 100 shares index in 2010 — and from the second-tier FTSE 250 last year. Its shares are worthless and now suspended.