178-Yr-Old Thomas Cook Shuts Down All Operations; Passengers, Cabin Crews Stranded Across Globe
Thomas Cook, the oldest British travel company, shut its operations from September 22 leaving more than 6 lakh passengers and cabin crew members stranded at various airports around the world.
The 178-year-old travel giant’s board declared bankruptcy and said it “had no choice” but for immediate liquidation in a statement. The unexpected situation has led to long queues of disgruntled tourists at various airports around the world.
We are sorry to announce that Thomas Cook has ceased trading with immediate effect.
This account will not be monitored.
— Thomas Cook Airlines (@TCAirlinesUK) September 23, 2019
The news gave a huge shock to several passengers and cabin crew onboard Thomas Cook flights. Air hostesses across flights were seen delivering a heartfelt goodbye message on various flights with teary eyes while many passengers too felt sad and cried on board
Heartbroken, hard working, dedicated cabin crew still turning up to work to repatriate passengers, even though we don't have a job. Putting on that uniform was so hard. We have the kindest passengers in the world. EFL – BHX 24.09.19 #thomascookstaff #thomascook #thomascookcrew pic.twitter.com/48VEFwhpon
— Sammy Webb (@sammyjwebb) September 25, 2019
The UK Civil Aviation Authority has come to the rescue of stranded passengers launching the largest peacetime repatriation effort with the British Government. The repatriation effort has given a name, Operation Matterhorn, and marked as the biggest repatriation effort after World War II.
On day two of our repatriation programme for Thomas Cook customers we brought back more than 14,000 passengers on 70 flights
We will be bringing back another 16,500 today https://t.co/gNOlbF425J
— UK Civil Aviation Authority (@UK_CAA) September 25, 2019
On Tuesday over 14000 passengers and cabin crew members were returned to their homes via charter planes and more 16000 will be sent back on Wednesday. The Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps further stated that the operation may take time due to some factors problems but all the people will reach home.
The repatriation effort can be attributed to the compulsory insurance policy of the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority, which demands tour operators to hold an ATOL (Air travel Organizers’ License), that provides financial protection to the consumers purchasing a fight through travel operating companies. An amount of 2.50 Pounds has to be paid by the ATOL holder and the fund is later managed by Air Travel Trust to ensure that the consumer will be repatriated or refunded if the travel company will shut down unexpectedly, like Thomas Cook.