Thomas Cook collapses

Thomas Cook collapses, stranding thousands around the globe

British travel firm Thomas Cook collapsed today, stranding some 600,000 holidaymakers around the globe. Thomas Cook was the world’s oldest travel firm. It filed for bankruptcy early Monday UK time, ceasing operations for vacations, bookings, and flights. 

The company shared following information on its website: “Thomas Cook UK Plc and associated UK entities have entered Compulsory Liquidation and are now under the control of the Official Receiver. The UK business has ceased trading with immediate effect and all future flights and holidays are cancelled. A dedicated support service is being provided by The Civil Aviation Authority to assist customers currently overseas and those in the UK with future bookings. Please visit: for further information.”

The company went out of business after it failed to secure a rescue package from its lenders in frantic talks that went through the weekend. “Despite huge efforts over a number of months, and further intense negotiations in recent days we have not been able to secure a deal to save our business. I know that this outcome will be devastating to many people and will cause a lot of anxiety, stress, and disruption,” said CEO Peter Fankhauser.

China’s Fosun Group, which had led a last-ditch bid to rescue British travel firm Thomas Cook from bankruptcy, said in a statement: “Fosun is disappointed that Thomas Cook Group has not been able to find a viable solution for its proposed recapitalization with other affiliates, core lending banks, senior noteholders, and additional involved parties.”

thomas cook airlinesThomas Cook, which was already the biggest shareholder, would inject £450 million (S$770 million) into the business. In return, the Hong Kong-listed conglomerate was to acquire a 75-per cent stake in Thomas Cook’s tour operating division and 25 percent of its airline unit.

Creditors and banks were to inject another £450 million, converting their debt into a 75-per cent stake in the airline and 25 percent of the tour operating unit.

The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said Thomas Cook had ceased trading and the regulator and government had a fleet of planes ready to start bringing home the more than 150,000 British customers over the next two weeks.

The company currently has some 600,000 people abroad, forcing governments and insurance companies to coordinate a huge rescue operation. Thomas Cook’s collapse could also hit the tourism sectors in the company’s biggest destinations, such as Spain and Turkey.

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