The oldest travel company in the world, Thomas Cook, went bankrupt on Monday, (23.09.2019) trapping hundreds of thousands of tourists around the world and unleashing the increased repatriation effort in peacetime of UK history, reports a cable from Reuters.
By MiamiDiario Newsroom
Thomas Cook has succumbed to a debt of 1.700 billion pounds ($2.100 billion), competition on the Internet, a changing travel market and geopolitical events that can disrupt your summer season. Last year's European heat wave also hit the company hard, with customers postponing last-minute bookings.
The group seemed ready for a rescue after agreeing on the main terms of a £900m recapitalization plan in an agreement with its largest shareholder, the Chinese company Fosun, and with the banks of the travel agency in August.
But at the time of closing the terms of the agreement, the company was affected by the creditors' request for another 200 million pounds to give the green light to refinancing.
Chief Executive Peter Fankhauser said it was very sad that the company had gone bankrupt after failing to secure a rescue package from its lenders in frantic talks that dragged on over the weekend.
178 years in the market
The liquidation marks the end of one of the oldest companies in the UK, who began his journey in 1841 taking local train excursions and surviving two world wars to become pioneer in vacation packages and mass tourism.
About us managed hotels, resorts and airlines for 19 million people a year en 16 countries. Currently has 600.000 people abroad, forcing governments and insurance companies to coordinate a major rescue operation.
Rescue hundreds of thousands of tourists
La UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said that Thomas Cook had stopped operating and that the regulator and the Government had a aircraft fleet ready to start bringing home the more than 150.000 UK customers in the next two weeks.
"I would like to apologize to our millions of customers and to the thousands of employees, suppliers and partners who have supported us for many years," Fankhauser said in a statement released early Monday. “It is a matter of deep regret to myself and the rest of the council that we did not succeed.”
The government and the aviation regulator said that due to the scale of the situation, some disruption was inevitable. All company flights have been cancelled.
Customers have been told not to travel to airports until informed via a special web page —thomascook.caa.co.uk— that they must take a return flight that is being organized by the Government.
The British regulator is also contacting hotels hosting Thomas Cook customers to tell them that the government will pay them through an insurance plan.
The collapse of the company can cause chaotic scenes around the world, with many tourists stuck in unpaid hotels as far afield as Goa, Gambia and Greece.
In the long term, it could also affect the tourism sectors from whats main destinations of the companyAs Spain and Turkey, starve fuel suppliers of cash and force the closure of hundreds of travel agencies that you have on the main British streets.
Source: to Reuters