Updated 23 September: The public confirmation of Thomas Cook’s collapse came shortly before 3am when the majority of the company’s planes were on the ground, as I posted last night. The company has confirmed that all the UK businesses in its group have ceased trading, including Thomas Cook Airlines.

As a result, 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 Government and the Civil Aviation Authority are now working together to do everything possible to support passengers due to fly back to the UK with Thomas Cook from today until 6 October 2019. If you are affected, this will be either on CAA-operated flights or by using existing flights with other airlines, depending on your location; those already abroad will find all the necessary information to get home HERE. After 6 October passengers will need to make their own travel arrangements. 

If you are due to depart from a UK airport with Thomas Cook Airlines, please do not travel to your UK airport as your flight will not be operating and you will not be able to travel.

Please note that 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.

For those with Thomas Cook flight-only arrangements, around 50% of the company’s bookings, the government has clearly said this morning that they will be flown home even if they are not Atol protected. Atol usually applies to package holidays only but in this case travellers are covered provided that they’re already abroad, with no means of return, and their return is scheduled for before 6 October.

The first Civil Aviation Authority repatriation flight has already left JFK bringing 300 stranded passengers back to Manchester: this repatriation is hugely complex and all authorities are and will continue to be working around the clock to support passengers. 

Original post 22 September: Thomas Cook is going into administration overnight, at a point when most of its fleet of planes would be on the ground. The news sees the start now of Project Matterhorn, the government’s repatriation of an estimated 150,000 British holidaymakers stranded around the world by means of flights provided by airlines like BA and Easyjet. French radio has (pointedly) pointed out that Thomas Cook travellers are protected by ATOL thanks to an EU directive. No doubt there will be official statements in the morning after the bankruptcy is officially declared.


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