The talks to save troubled Thomas Cook appears to have collapsed and the company is expected to enter administration early on Monday once all planes are back in the UK.
The UK government has made plans over the weekend to expatriate 150,000 or so holiday makers that are on Thomas Cook arranged trips outside of the country. This process is expected to take up to two weeks.
Manchester Airport has already impounded Thomas Cook’s airplanes landed there on Sunday night.
Here’s an excerpt from the Financial Times (access their piece here):
The UK government was finalising preparations over the weekend to repatriate the holidaymakers in a contigency plan codenamed Operation Matterhorn, according to a source with knowledge of the arrangements.
Airlines including Virgin Atlantic and EasyJet were being lined up to fly stranded tourists home. The group’s collapse would also put 21,000 jobs at risk, including 9,000 in the UK where it has 563 high-street travel agents.
“There is not much that can be kept trading,” said one person in the talks, who pointed to the likelihood of a straight administration of all Thomas Cook’s operations, a move that would hit thousands of hoteliers and aviation suppliers, as well as banks and insurers that provide services such as credit.
Here’s an excerpt from the Mirror (access their piece here):
It appeared last-ditch talks aimed at securing a £200million bailout and saving the world’s oldest travel company had failed, according to reports.
One report claimed it could take up to two weeks to repatriate all affected British tourists in a repatriation plan – dubbed Operation Matterhorn – that is reported to have a potential cost of £600million.
Although the news have mainly been about the Thomas Cook collapsing in the UK, the group does business in 14 other European countries including the former Lufthansa subsidiary airline Condor (Alaska Airlines partner).
It is sad to see a company with such a rich history to disappear but that is the beauty of capitalism. New companies pop up while those that cannot change with times usually find themselves in the bankruptcy court/liquidation in due course.
The collapse will affect the holiday plans of millions that now need to find their way back to home or decide whether they will buy another packaged holiday for planned trip this fall/winter.
This is a good reminder for everyone to pay for their travel expenses using a credit card that allows chargeback in case of company goes under or service provided is not as purchased. Many of these passengers on packaged holidays are covered by their national insurance schemes in case of a tour operator going under.