TRAVEL firm Thomas Cook has ceased trading with immediate effect – meaning all flights, bookings and holidays are cancelled.
Passengers travelling with their airline have been urged not to travel to Birmingham Airport this morning (Monday, September 23) for their flight.
The company was unable to secure the extra £200 million needed to keep the business afloat after a full day of crucial talks with the major shareholder and creditors on Sunday (September 22).
It is estimated 150,000 Brits will be repatriated home following the collapse – it is said to be the biggest peacetime repatriation in UK history.
They will be brought back to the UK on special free flights or booked onto another scheduled airline at no extra cost.
The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is also contacting hotels accommodating Thomas Cook customers, who have booked as part of a package, to tell them that the cost of their accommodation will also be covered by the Government, through the Air Travel Trust Fund/ATOL cover.
Thomas Cook has been a partner airline of Birmingham Airport for many years, carrying over 750,000 passengers annually.
It was Birmingham’s fifth largest carrier and based four aircraft at the Airport.
A statement from Birmingham Airport said: “It is with regret that we have been notified this morning that Thomas Cook Airlines has ceased trading with immediate effect.
“Our priority is to support passengers who were scheduled to travel from Birmingham Airport today by providing extra support staff, information and assist with their arrangements home.
“We’re working closely with the Civil Aviation Authority and the Department for Transport to also support the effort to repatriate passengers back to the UK over the coming weeks.
“Passengers due to travel with Thomas Cook are advised not to come to the Airport as there will be no more Thomas Cook flights from the UK.”
The Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, said: “Thomas Cook’s collapse is very sad news for staff and holidaymakers.
“The Government and UK CAA is working round the clock to help people. Our contingency planning has helped acquire planes from across the world – some from as far away as Malaysia – and we have put hundreds of people in call centres and at airports.
“But the task is enormous, the biggest peacetime repatriation in UK history. So there are bound to be problems and delays. Please try to be understanding with the staff who are trying to assist in what is likely to be a very difficult time for them as well.”
Anyone booked to travel with Thomas Cook should visit www.thomascook.caa.co.uk or call 0300 303 2800 from within the UK or +44 1753 330330 from overseas for more.