Dutch-based holidaymakers 'will not lose out' from Thomas Cook collapse

Tuesday, 24 Sep, 2019

As well as grounding its planes, Thomas Cook has been forced to shut travel agencies, leaving the group's 22,000 global employees - 9,000 of whom are in Britain - out of a job.

Overburdened by a crippling $2.1 billion debt, one of the oldest and largest in the world entered compulsory liquidation after last-ditch efforts to negotiate restructuring failed. It survived two world wars and went on to pioneer package holidays, first in Europe and then further afield.

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Nearly one in 10 of the 600,000 Thomas Cook travellers left stranded by the company's collapse were in Greece on Monday.

The Montreal-based company was slated to receive at least seven jetliners from Thomas Cook this fall, but "the partnership is dead because the company no longer exists", said Transat spokesman Christophe Hennebelle.

"We extend our deepest sympathy to all those affected by this outcome".

In France, Entreprises de Voyage said that about 10,000 French tourists could be affected by the bankruptcy of Thomas Cook while Norwegian subsidiary Ving said that now 8,685 Norwegians are on its tours.

Shares in rival European travel groups got a boost on Monday.

Before the collapse, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the government would not intervene to save the airline, Sky News reported, saying that doing so would create a "moral hazard" because the possibility of a government bailout could encourage other companies to take risks.

Most of Thomas Cook's customers from Britain are protected by the government-run travel insurance program, which makes sure vacationers can get home if a British-based tour operator fails while they are overseas.

The Civil Aviation Authority announced the film's collapse early Monday.

But Mr Hann told CornwallLive: 'People all getting stressed and angry I don't understand why as at the end of the day we will all get home at some stage.

Some were left deserted once passengers and staff had departed. The aviation authority launched a website where customers can find details on those flights. Postman Mr Butler, 47, joked: 'I've told the kids if we are not back by December then they can get anxious'.

According to BBC, the burden of its debts forced Thomas Cook to enter into last-minute negotiations with stakeholders to obtain an additional stimulus of around United States dollars 250 million.

For Thomas Cook travelers overseas on holiday packages protected by the Air Travel Organiser's Licence, the aviation authority said it will sort out hotel bills.

Adding to its crushing debt burden, Thomas Cook operated a fleet of 105 airline jets and had extensive real estate costs, including about 550 travel shops on major streets across Britain and 200 hotels in sun-drenched countries. ATOL protection only applies to hotels when booked as part of an air inclusive holiday package.

While Thomas Cook Airlines and Thomas Cook Alliance travellers appeared to have their return home secured by October 6, the outlook was less certain for Greek hotels, travel agents and tour operators.

Grant Shapps, the UK's secretary of state for transport, said in a statement that the government and CAA are "working round the clock" to help people affected by the collapse. "Other people have lost their jobs, so we're not as bad (off) as some other people", he said, with two young children - an 18-month-old and 12-year-old - in tow.

Overall, about 600,000 people were travelling with the company as of Sunday, though it was unclear how many of them would be left stranded, as some travel subsidiaries were in talks with local authorities to continue operating.

"And she said, if you're that way inclined, please say a little prayer for us and it got a bit emotional as everyone started clapping".

"We are now assessing the impact of Thomas Cook ceasing trading and the impact for those supporters who have purchased packages from Thomas Cook".