Thomas Cook shuts down


As many as 150,000 Britishers holidaymakers have been stranded abroad after popular tour operator Thomas Cook filed for bankruptcy, reports said on Monday.

The travel company was in dire need of £200 million in extra funds to secure its future and had approached the UK government to plug a gap in its funding.

Thomas Cook’s last-minute attempt to seal a rescue led by China’s biggest shareholder Fosun also failed. Reports said the creditor banks issued a last-minute demand that the travel company finds an extra £200 million.

Meanwhile, Thomas Cook India clarified that “Thomas Cook PLC (UK) has no relationship with Thomas Cook India as we were acquired by Canada based Fairfax Financial Holdings (Fairfax) in 2012. We are completely independent of Thomas Cook UK & hence the news of their situation does not impact us.”

On the other hand, trade unions demanded the UK government to interfere in the matter directly or by putting pressure on lenders that include state-owned Royal Bank of Scotland.

Currently, there are 600,000 Thomas Cook customers on holiday, of which 150,000 to 160,000 are British, the said.

The UK government will have to shell out about £600 million to bring home its citizens stranded abroad. Currently, the UK’s Department for Transport and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) have made preparations to bring stranded passengers back to the UK, under Operation Matterhorn.

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