The possible bankruptcy of British tour operator Thomas Cook, which was fighting for survival on Sunday, would be a bombshell for European holidaymakers and trigger a mammoth repatriation operation. Here are the implications for tourists should the 178-year old giant collapse. What happens in the event of bankruptcy? If the embattled company fails to secure the £200 million (€227 million) rescue funds or find an alternative plan, it will have to file for bankruptcy in Britain. The group’s activities would cease immediately, forcing its travel agencies to close, grounding its planes and leaving the group’s 22,000 global employees — 9,000 of whom are in Britain — out of a job. Directors, probably from audit firms, will be appointed to try to find a buyer, restructure its debt or sell assets. Some 600,000 tourists worldwide would have to be repatriated, including 150,000 Britons, making it the largest such operation in the country since World War II. The operation could take two weeks, the maximum duration of most of Thomas Cook’s package breaks. Who would lead the operation? The British Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) would be responsible for organising the repatriation, as it was during the bankruptcy of British airline Monarch in… Read full this story
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