The world’s oldest travel firm Thomas Cook collapsed on Monday, leaving hundreds of thousands of holidaymakers stranded around the world including Cyprus.
Thomas Cook, which had been struggling with massive debt recently, said last Friday that the company needed £200 million in extra funding to prevent going bust.
Signs of an impending collapse also began to emerge last month when a British couple failed to receive replies about their wedding in Cyprus
On Monday, CEO Peter Fankhauser was quoted as saying “it was a matter of profound regret that the company had gone out of business after it failed to secure a rescue package from its lenders in frantic talks that went through the weekend.”
Following news of the collapse, the British travel firm wrote on its website that a dedicated support service was being provided by the Civil Aviation Authority to assist customers currently overseas, including Cyprus.
“Thomas Cook UK Plc and associated UK entities have entered Compulsory Liquidation and are now under the control of the Official Receiver,” the statement said.
Cypriot sign of impending collapse
Signs of an impending collapse also began to emerge last month when a British couple failed to receive replies about their wedding in Cyprus, booked largely through the now-defunct company.
The couple, which has important deadlines to meet in order to meet Cypriot legal requirements, was also reportedly in the dark over wedding details that were booked directly through Thomas Cook.
Their wedding was planned for October 15, to be held in a church in Paphos, while their reception was penciled in for the same day at the city’s town hall. A boat trip for guests and other expenses were also paid in advance, according to reports, while many guests had also booked flights through Thomas Cook.
The firm ran hotels, resorts and airlines for 19 million people a year in 16 countries. Thomas Cook currently has 600,000 people abroad according to reports, putting pressure on governments and insurance companies to coordinate a huge rescue operation, the largest peacetime repatriation effort in British history, codenamed Operation Matterhorn.