Famous UK-based global travel group, Thomas Cook Group Plc collapsed as the company’s attempt to raise additional funding failed to result in a deal. The move saw all bookings, flights and holidays with Thomas Cook canceled, sparking panic online among travelers.
The collapse spells the demise of one of the U.K.'s best-known brands. The 178-year-old company’s collapse has forced the British government to hire charter planes to bring thousands of customers back home.
“The firm's collapse was a "matter of profound regret", a BBC-report quoted Peter Fankhauser, Thomas Cook's chief executive, as saying.
Thomas Cook Group Plc was formed on 19 June 2007 by the merger of Thomas Cook AG and MyTravel Group. The UK government has said it would work to return all those booked to come back to the U.K. over the next two weeks free of cost. The tour operator's failure puts 22,000 jobs at risk worldwide, including 9,000 in the UK.
Informing the closing down of the operations by the Company, the UK Civil Aviation Authority wrote on their Twitter Account: “Thomas Cook Group, including the UK tour operator and airline, has ceased trading with immediate effect. All #ThomasCook bookings, including flights and holidays, have now been cancelled.”
For decades, tour operators such as Thomas Cook and Germany's TUI AG thrived by offering package holidays to sun-starved Europeans. But, the rises of budget airlines and online companies have squeezed profits in an industry that is highly seasonal and prone to shocks from terrorism to political turmoil.
Last week, Thomas Cook said it needed 200 million pounds ($250 million) more, leading to the rapid unraveling of its rescue prospects. A Chinese firm, which owns the Club Med resort chain, proposed a $1.1 billion bailout in exchange for control of London-based Thomas Cook's tour operations and a minority stake in its airline.