Jobs lost and holidays ruined as Thomas Cook falls into liquidation
PUBLISHED: 07:32 23 September 2019 | UPDATED: 16:27 23 September 2019
Thousands of jobs are to be lost and the holidays of even more thrown into disarray as tour company Thomas Cook has confirmed it has fallen into liquidation.
It has today been confirmed the holiday firm had fallen short in a last-ditch rescue deal, leaving an estimated 150,000 Britons abroad awaiting repatriation, PA reports.
The company was unable to secure the extra £200m needed to keep it afloat following a full day of talks with the major shareholder and creditors on Sunday,
Richard Moriarty, the chief executive of the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), said the government had asked his organisation to launch "the UK's largest ever peacetime repatriation".
In a statement, the CAA 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."
Thomas Cook's chief executive Peter Fankhauser said his company had "worked exhaustively" to salvage a rescue package.
He said: "Although a deal had been largely agreed, an additional facility requested in the last few days of negotiations presented a challenge that ultimately proved insurmountable,"
"It is a matter of profound regret to me and the rest of the board that we were not successful.
"I would like to apologise to our millions of customers, and thousands of employees, suppliers and partners who have supported us for many years.
"This marks a deeply sad day for the company which pioneered package holidays and made travel possible for millions of people around the world."
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Reporter Emily Cooper asked people in Norwich what they thought of the closure.
- Jacquelyn Lee, 73, said she was not "totally shocked", and said the business had not developed with today's generation and did not have enough of an online presence.
"Thomas Cook closing will not have a major impact to the travel industry at all," she added.
- Harry Smith, 25, said: "I am not surprised about the news of Thomas Cook because nobody really uses travel agencies anymore, and it is all mainly online. When I book holidays I look for a range of options not just two or three."
- John Dearing, 73, said it was "a very sad time for one of the largest travel companies in the UK".
He said he was "expecting" the closure of the company.
- Emily Richardson, 19, said she had booked with Thomas Cook for her last holiday.
But she added: "I am very shocked with the closure because it was such a big company you don't expect it.
"Older people will be more worried about booking holidays through this closing and Thomas Cook being so well known."
- Jack Gill-Taylor, 18, agreed that he was not surprised.
He said he had never booked with a travel agency due to online booking "being so popular and growing much more with the generation".
He said Thomas Cook's closure would not affect him, but will "definitely have an impact on the older generation".
- Have you been affected by the collapse? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org