Thomas Cook customers to fly home after firm collapses

The biggest peacetime repatriation is underway after travel agent Thomas Cook collapsed on Monday, bringing 150,000 Britons back from overseas.

The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is co-ordinating efforts to fly the tourists home after the tour operator “ceased trading with immediate effect”.

Thomas Cook’s administration puts 22,000 jobs at risk worldwide, including 9,000 in the UK.

Boss Peter Fankhauser said the collapse was a “matter of profound regret”.

Thomas Cook, whose roots go back to 1841, went bust after last-ditch talks to raise fresh funding failed. The BBC understands the government was asked to fund a bailout of £250m, which was denied.

Some 16,000 holidaymakers were booked to come back on Monday, and authorities hope to get at least 14,000 of them home on chartered flights.

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