Thomas Cook tour operator in bankruptcy
"Financial Times": "the largest repatriation operation in times of peace"
Today, on September 23, the British tour operator Thomas Cook Group declared bankruptcy at 3 am. The crash leaves twenty-two thousand people out of work, about 600 thousand customers in tourist resorts and more than a million reservations have been cancelled. Several early warning signs of collapse: the British civil aviation authority had rented about forty airplanes in the last week, but had parked several of them ready for the emergency plan, the MT508 flight London-Gatwick/Dalaman on Sunday was cancelled and the managers of Manchester airport had seized an A-321 of the group's carrier yesterday because it was unable to pay thousands of pounds of airport taxes.
The bankruptcy requires a difficult maneuver to bring back about 500,000 travellers currently traveling with the tours offered by the agency. According to the "Financial Times" it is the "largest emergency repatriation operation ever in times of peace" and British Transport minister Grant Shapps has announced that 45 free charter planes will be arranged.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated that a state rescue would set a dangerous precedent because other companies could then expect the same treatment. According to the British Prime Minister, "it will be necessary to study how tour operators can protect themselves from similar cases in the future".
AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency