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Thomas Cook collapses as last-ditch rescue talks fail, 600,000 holidaymakers stranded

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The British tour operator Thomas Cook has collapsed, with 600,000 travelers scattered around the world. The company collapsed after last-minute negotiations aimed at saving the 178-year-old holiday firm failed.

The holiday firm failed to secure another £200 million it needed to keep the business afloat sparking the biggest ever peacetime repatriation.

All future holidays with the company have also been cancelled, affecting the travel plans of one million people putting 9,000 jobs on the line.

The collapse was confirmed this morning by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) which said it had been asked to help bring people home.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said the tour operator had “ceased trading with immediate effect”.

It has also triggered the biggest ever peacetime repatriation, aimed at bringing more than 150,000 British holidaymakers’ home.

Peter Fankhauser, Thomas Cook’s chief executive, said the firm’s collapse was a “matter of profound regret”.

Commenting as the company entered compulsory liquidation, Mr Fankhauser also apologised to the firm’s “millions of customers, and thousands of employees”.

The tour operator’s failure puts 22,000 jobs at risk worldwide, including 9,000 in the UK.

In a statement, the syndicate of Thomas Cook’s lenders said this morning: Unfortunately, and notwithstanding the efforts of all stakeholders, the £1.1 billion funding requirement to adequately recapitalise Thomas Cook has ultimately proved too significant.

‘The Lenders providing finance facilities to the Group have been extremely supportive stakeholders, including through two periods of financial distress and have stood behind Thomas Cook over the past twelve months, a period where the Group saw cash outflows of about £1 billion, maintaining that position over the crucial and busy summer holiday period.’

‘Obviously, the Lenders are deeply disappointed that it has not proved possible to rescue Thomas Cook. In partnership with other stakeholders, the Lenders worked tirelessly to examine all options within the time frame required.’

The CAA said in its statement: ‘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.’

About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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