Thomas Cook Shuts Down, Stranding Thousands of Travelers

By Anna Breuer on 23 September 2019
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DSC_0656 (1)British tour operator Thomas Cook Group ceased all operations Sunday night, leaving thousands of travelers, mostly British subjects, stranded.

The 178-year-old travel company said in a statement that it “concluded that it had no choice but to take steps to enter into compulsory liquidation with immediate effect.”

“An application was made to the High Court for a compulsory liquidation of the Company before opening of business today and an order has been granted to appoint the Official Receiver as the liquidator of the Company,” it said.

The company’s CEO, Peter Frankhauser, apologized to employees and customers.

“This marks a deeply sad day for the company which pioneered package holidays and made travel possible for millions of people around the world,” he said in a statement.

The move requires the United Kingdom to undertake an extraordinary repatriation effort to bring home over 150,000 people who live in Britain. The process will be the country’s largest peacetime repatriation in its history, topping the operation the government carried out after the 2017 collapse of Monarch Airlines.

Some 21,000 employees in 16 countries will lose their jobs, most effective immediately.

Thomas Cook owned 12 tour operators including Intourist, formerly the official travel agency of the Soviet Union, and Neckermann, an offshoot of the once leading mail-order company that  itself had closed in 2012.  It also owned five airlines including Condor Flugdienst, although that airline on its website indicated it is continuing operations.

“Condor continues to fly!,” the airline said on its website. “Flights are operating as scheduled.”

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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