UK Civil Aviation Authority launches flying programme to bring home Thomas Cook customers

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  • Thomas Cook has ceased trading so all Thomas Cook flights are now cancelled
  • Customers in the UK yet to travel must not go to the airport
  • UK Civil Aviation Authority to launch biggest ever peacetime repatriation
  • Customers currently overseas should check thomascook.caa.co.uk for advice and only go to the airport once they have an alternative flight confirmed
  • 24-hour helpline: 0300 303 2800 from the UK and Ireland and +44 1753 330 330 from overseas

Thomas Cook Group, including the UK tour operator and airline, has ceased trading with immediate effect. All Thomas Cook bookings, including flights and holidays, have now been cancelled. There are currently more than 150,000 Thomas Cook customers abroad, almost twice the number that were repatriated following the failure of Monarch.

We know that a company with such long-standing history ceasing trading will be very distressing for its customers and employees and our thoughts are with everyone affected by this news.

The Government has asked the UK Civil Aviation Authority to launch a repatriation programme over the next two weeks, from Monday 23 September to Sunday 6 October, to bring Thomas Cook customers back to the UK. Due to the unprecedented number of UK customers currently overseas who are affected by the situation, the Civil Aviation Authority has secured a fleet of aircraft from around the world to bring passengers back to the UK with return flights.

Passengers in a small number of destinations may return on alternative commercial flights, rather than directly through the Civil Aviation Authority’s flying programme. Details and advice for these passengers are available on the dedicated website.

The Civil Aviation Authority has launched a special website, thomascook.caa.co.uk, where affected customers can find details and information on repatriation flights, as well as advice on accommodation for both ATOL and non-ATOL customers.

Due to the significant scale of the situation, some disruption is inevitable, but the Civil Aviation Authority will endeavour to get people home as close as possible to their planned dates. This will apply to both ATOL protected passengers and those who are not protected.

Customers currently overseas should not travel to the airport until their flight back to the UK has been confirmed on the dedicated website.

Thomas Cook customers in the UK yet to travel should not go to the airport as all flights leaving the UK have been cancelled.

ATOL Protected passengers with future bookings are entitled to a full refund for their cancelled holiday. Passengers currently overseas may also make claims for the cost of replacing ATOL protected parts of their trip, or for out of pocket expenses as a result of delayed flights home. The Civil Aviation Authority will be launching a service to manage all refunds by Monday 30 September, once the flying operation has progressed. This refunds service will seek to process all refunds within 60 days of full information being received.

Further information will be available on our dedicated website in the coming days, but please do not submit anything to the Civil Aviation Authority in the meantime as the organisation continues to focus on the repatriation flying programme to return more than 150,000 passengers to the UK. More information will follow on how to make a claim.

Richard Moriarty, Chief Executive of the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said:

News of Thomas Cook’s collapse is deeply saddening for the company’s employees and customers, and we appreciate that more than 150,000 people currently abroad will be anxious about how they will now return to the UK.  

“The government has asked us to support Thomas Cook customers on what is the UK’s largest ever peacetime repatriation.

We have launched, at very short notice, what is effectively one of the UK’s largest airlines, involving a fleet of aircraft secured from around the world. The nature and scale of the operation means that unfortunately some disruption will be inevitable. We ask customers to bear with us as we work around the clock to bring them home.

We urge anyone affected by this news to check our dedicated website, thomascook.caa.co.uk, for advice and information.”

The UK Civil Aviation Authority will be providing regular updates as our flying programme develops.

2 COMMENTS

  1. So sadly, Thomas Cook has collapsed and thousands of people need to be brought home.

    The Government are trying to figure out how to get the people home – it’s an emergency effort.

    The CAA have chartered around 40 aircraft for this purpose but – and this is a revelation!
    * There are dozens of Thomas Cook aircraft sitting idle on the tarmac,
    * There are hundreds flight crew now redundant having all lost their jobs.
    * Why not initiate a civil mobilisation of both aircraft and flight crews (who are willing) and step in to resolve this issue. (staff paid by the government)

    Surely, this is the simplest option for all, then afterwards go after those responsible.

    Just sayin!!!

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