Thomas Cook Collapses as Last Ditch Rescue Call goes Unanswered
Thomas Cook has collapsed after last-minute negotiations aimed at saving the 178-year-old holiday firm failed. 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’.
This marks a deeply sad day for the company which pioneered package holidays and made travel possible for millions of people around the world," Fankhauser said.
"Despite huge efforts over a number of months, and further intense negotiations in recent days, we have not been able to secure a deal to save our business. I know that this outcome will be devastating to many people and cause a lot of anxiety stress and disruption," he added.
The collapse of the iconic UK company had ripple effects in Asia. Shares in China's Fosun Tourism dropped by nearly 5 percent in Hong Kong. The billionaire founder of parent company Fosun International, which owns all-inclusive holiday firm Club Med, is Thomas Cook's largest shareholder, according to Refinitiv data.
"Fosun is disappointed that Thomas Cook Group has not been able to find a viable solution," the company said in a statement. "We extend our deepest sympathy to all those affected by this outcome," it added.
Meanwhile, Thomas Cook India — owned by Canada's Fairfax — said it had nothing to do with the collapse of the venerable British brand and its business was unaffected.