Travel Chaos As Thomas Cook Ceases Trading

Holiday operator Thomas Cook has ceased trading, leaving thousands of jobs at risk and many more people stranded in travel limbo.

With 178 years of history and 20 shops in Northern Ireland, the collapse is a major blow for the UK travel industry.

A major repatriation exercise has been launched to bring around 150,000 people home amid fears they would be left stranded.

In a statement on Monday morning, a spokesperson for Thomas Cook said: "Thomas Cook has confirmed that all the UK companies in its group have ceased trading, including Thomas Cook Airlines.

"As a result, we are sorry to inform you that all holidays and flights provided by these companies have been cancelled and are no longer operating. All Thomas Cook's retail shops have also closed."

The UK Government and the Civil Aviation Authority are working to ensure all passengers due to travel home between 23 September and 06 October are booked onto a flight.

Anyone due to depart with Thomas Cook Airlines is advised not to travel to the airport as their flight will not be operating and they will not be able to travel.

"This repatriation is hugely complex and we are working around the clock to support passengers," the spokesperson added.

Customers already abroad should follow the advice below:
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• If your return flight was with Thomas Cook, a new flight will be provided to return you to the UK. These repatriation flights will only be operating for the next two weeks (until 06 October). After this date you will have to make your own travel arrangements. From a small number of locations, passengers will have to book their own return flights.

• Read I am currently abroad for further information.

• Repatriation flights are only available for passengers whose journey originated in the UK.

• If you are ATOL-protected and are having difficulties with your hotel, please read managing difficulties with accommodation.

• Some of Thomas Cook's package holiday bookings include flights with airlines unrelated to the Thomas Cook Group. If your return flight is not with Thomas Cook's airline, it will still be valid. However other elements of the package, such as accommodation and transfers, will be affected.

Customers due to travel out of the UK in the coming days and weeks are advised that all future holidays and flights booked with Thomas Cook are cancelled as of today, Monday 23 September.

The Civil Aviation Authority's repatriation programme will not include any outbound flights from the UK. If you choose to book a new flight with another airline out of the UK, you will not be eligible for a repatriation flight.


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