Over the past five days, the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority has been busy repatriating 150,000 stranded Britons. The passengers were left stranded by the collapse of Thomas Cook. As of this morning, 40% had so far been repatriated.
When Thomas Cook announced bankruptcy at around 2 am on Monday, around 150,000 British holidaymakers were suddenly left without their return flights back home. However, thanks to the protections afforded by the ATOL scheme, the Civil Aviation Authority is currently working to bring them all back. This has involved a range of strategies including charter flights and placing passengers aboard other airlines’ scheduled flights.
All flights canceled
During the weekend we heard how Thomas Cook needed to secure £200 million in order to be able to continue operations. Senior managers of the company spent the majority of Sunday in meetings, appearing from the law firm hosting with ‘no comment’.
The meetings clearly weren’t successful, as Thomas Cook eventually announced bankruptcy in the early hours of the next morning. Despite this, Thomas Cook’s Twitter team continued to reassure passengers that no flights had been canceled, right up until the eventual announcement. As such, at around 2 am, hundreds of thousands of holidays were canceled, as well as jobs lost.
The Civil Aviation Authority is currently working to bring all those stranded by the collapse of Thomas Cook back to the United Kingdom. This includes both passengers and crew. The total operation is planned to take a total of two weeks from its start.
Some passengers will not notice any difference other than the branding on the aircraft. This is as several flights are being operated like for like. However, others haven’t been so lucky, with some passengers landing at airports hundreds of miles from their homes. In these situations, the Civil Aviation Authority is organizing ground transport.
Some passengers have been lucky enough to sit in Malaysia Airlines’ business-class cabin on the Airbus A380, a welcome upgrade!
Over 40% of Thomas Cook customers who were overseas are now back home. 61,000 people flown back to the UK in 4 days.
Another 16,000 passengers due back today on 72 flights https://t.co/XVoHe1WEAf
— UK Civil Aviation Authority (@UK_CAA) September 27, 2019
Earlier today the Civil Aviation Authority revealed that 40% of Thomas Cook passengers had been repatriated in the first four days of the operation. The figure quoted by the CAA is 61,000 passengers repatriated so far. An additional 16,000 passengers are due to fly back by the end of today, spread across 72 different flights.
Have you been repatriated by the Civil Aviation Authority’s Operation Matterhorn? Who did you fly with and how was it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.