Over 600,000 vacationers stranded by the sudden shutdown of Thomas Cook

  • 24 September 2019

The news of Thomas Cook's collapse on September 23 has shocked millions of people all around the world. The firm, established in 1841, operated airlines, hotels, and resorts for about 19 million people every year in 16 countries. Currently, the firm has over 600,000 vacationers traveling in different parts of the world, and the sudden shut down has left them all stranded, seeking help from governments and insurance companies to return home.   


Not only the hundreds of thousands of holidaymakers are stranded due to the liquidation of the world's oldest travel firm, but its 21,000 employees are also laid off. Hotel owners in many countries, including Turkey, Greece, and Spain, may suffer massive financial loss. The collapse caused by a lack of financial assistance from the Government and the company's failure to score a deal with creditors triggered hotel owners to ask customers to pay their bills again.


The firm collapsed due to the debt of $2.1 million that piled up by many ill-fated deals. To pay just the interest amount, it needed to sell three million travel packages a year. But a coup d 'état attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016, Europe-wide heatwave in 2018, and the firm's shortcomings in pitching itself to millennials deterred it from meeting the numbers required to avoid the shutdown.


Peter Fankhauser, the CEO of Thomas Cook, has apologized to the customers, employees, and affiliates of the company. The British Government has promised to get stranded nationals home. The hotels hosting Thomas Cook customers are being contacted and told to be paid through an insurance scheme.      

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