Thomas Cook collapses! 150000 wedding couples, guests, and holiday-makers in anxiety, 9000 British jobs at risk!
Marriage dreams have crashed, holidaymakers are left stranded! The reason is that the travel agency Thomas Cook has collapsed and stopped trading after its final attempt to save the ailing firm failed. Now nearly 150000 holiday makers of the UK are left in the lurch!
Thomas Cook collapses
It was a sudden announcement which crashed the dreams of the many holiday makers and to-be-married couples and their guests who had booked through the world’s oldest holiday company Thomas Cook.
At 2 am on Monday 23 September 2019, the Civil Aviation Authority stated that Thomas Cook has,gone bankrupt and all all flight and holiday bookings through them stand canceled. The authority said:
“Thomas Cook Group, including the UK tour operator and airline, has ceased trading with immediate effect,”
“All Thomas Cook bookings, including flights and holidays, have now been cancelled.”
The announcement came in the wee hours since all the planes were still on the ground.
Thomas Cook offers an apology
Thomas Cook issued an apology. Their chief executive, Peter Fankhauser said:
“It is a matter of profound regret.”
He apologized to millions of customers and thousands of employees. It is feared that 9000 people in the UK would lose jobs.
The government and CAA action
This will be the largest peacetime repatriation in the history of aviation. The government and CAA have swung into action to bring back the holidaymakers. They named this special operation as Operation Matterhorn.
Boris Johnson was on his way to the UN general assembly in New York when the news broke. He has hinted that there will be a government enquiry and action against the directors of travel firms who presided over the bankruptcies. He added that we need to investigate deeper into the collapse of the budget airline Monarch and Thomas Cook.
Thomas Cook had requested for a £150m bailout. Boris said on this:
“It is a very difficult situation, and obviously our thoughts are very much with the customers of Thomas Cook, the holidaymakers, who may now face difficulties getting home. We will do our level best to get them home.”
Thomas Cook flights used to cover mainland Europe to north Africa, the Middle East, the US and the Caribbean. Now British Airways and Easy Jet will airlift the passengers.
The foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, reassured the stranded people that the contingency plan will rescue them. He added that the government did not step in properly and at the right time. He told BBC:
“We would wait to see and hope that [Thomas Cook] can continue but in any event, as you would expect, we’ve got the contingency planning in place to make sure that in any worst-case scenario we can support all those who might otherwise be stranded,”
The reason for this collapse
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The company had gone bankrupt and appealed to the government for help. But the government refused since it was not in the national interest. Talks between the company and its stakeholder started 9 am on sunday 22 September 2019 and ended at 5 pm. Chinese conglomerate Fosun is its largest stakeholder. But nothing concrete came out of it and hence this collapse.
Thomas Cook had a £1.7bn debt burden and was unable to cope with it. The tour operator had suggested a number of proposals but it got no help.
Hearing of the collapse, the security guards and management in a hotel in Tunisia locked up the customers since the hotel asked them now to pay for the hotel stay and they refused since they had already paid to Thomas Cook. But the hotel was not sure now of the money coming to them from Thomas Cook after its collapse. Later after talks with Thomas Cook and their assurance, they released the guests. However, despite the anxiety, holiday makers can rest assured since their bookings are covered by Atol scheme of CAA.
Source: The Guardian