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Thomas Cook ceases trading – flights bringing stranded customers home | UK News

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Thomas Cook has ceased trading, the Civil Aviation Authority has confirmed as it launches a programme to bring stranded customers home.

It comes after the company failed to secure the extra £200m needed to keep it afloat after a day of crucial talks with creditors.

Customers in the UK who have yet to fly have been told not to go to the airport as all bookings, including flights and holiday, have been cancelled.

Peter Fankhauser, the chief executive of Thomas Cook, said the tour operator’s collapse was a “matter of profound regret” as he apologised to the company’s “millions of customers, and thousands of employees”.

He said executives had “worked extensively” in an effort to rescue the 178-year-old travel agent, adding: “Although a deal had been largely agreed, an additional facility requested in the last few days of negotiations presented a challenge that ultimately proved insurmountable.

“It is a matter of profound regret to me and the rest of the board that we were not successful.

“I would like to apologise to our millions of customers, and thousands of employees, suppliers and partners who have supported us for many years.”

The CAA has launched the UK’s biggest ever peacetime repatriation to bring more than 150,000 Thomas Cook customers home.

This is almost twice the number repatriated after Monarch Airlines failed in 2017.

Richard Moriarty, chief executive of the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said news of Thomas Cook’s failure was “deeply saddening”.

He added: “The government has asked us to support Thomas Cook customers on what is the UK’s largest ever peacetime repatriation.

“We have launched, at very short notice, what is effectively one of the UK’s largest airlines, involving a fleet of aircraft secured from around the world.

“The nature and scale of the operation means that unfortunately some disruption will be inevitable. We ask customers to bear with us as we work around the clock to bring them home.”

The CAA said customers currently overseas should not travel to the airport until their flight back to the UK has been confirmed on a dedicated website.

Thomas Cook customers in the UK yet to travel should not go to the airport as all flights leaving the UK have been cancelled.

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