Thomas Cook collapses, 600,000 travellers stranded

Posted by Gabrielle Jacobs on 23 September 2019

Travel group Thomas Cook announced today that it has ceased all operations effective immediately, including Thomas Cook Airlines.

‘The UK business has ceased trading with immediate effect and all future flights and holidays are cancelled,’ the Thomas Cook website announced.

The company has gone into compulsory liquidation, and the UK’s insolvency services have taken control of the business. The group is currently looking into repatriation for travellers.

‘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,’ the Group announced in a statement. ‘Depending on your location, this will be either on CAA-operated flights or by using existing flights with other airlines.’

Cancelled flights outbound from the UK, however, are not included in the repatriation efforts.

According to the Guardian, 150,000 travellers and holidaymakers have been affected by the Thomas Cook collapse. Of course, the company’s demise will have widespread implications for staff and investors alike. Amid questions as to why the British government hasn’t committed to bailing out the company, some feel that Brexit negotiations and new Prime Minister Boris Johnson are to blame for the industry’s loss.

The company’s namesake, Briton Thomas Cook, founded the enterprise and conducted the first tour when he arranged a train journey for 500 passengers from Leicester to Loughborough on 5 July 1841. Nearly two centuries later, travellers and those who’ve grown up with the industry heavyweight are saddened to hear of the company’s collapse.

Vera Nagtegaal, Executive Head of Hippo.co.za, advises flyers to do their research into travel insurance policies when booking flights and before leaving home.

Various types of travel insurance exist depending on your needs, but not all policies cover all of them, such as the basic form of travel insurance provided by your bank when purchasing an air ticket using your credit card. In the event that flights are cancelled, as in this instance, the correct policy can ensure that you’ll have a plan without being left stranded or to foot another hefty flight bill.

See some of the mixed responses on the matter from social media:

Image: Thomas Cook Airlines via Twitter






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