Government and CAA Launch Repatriation Scheme as Thomas Cook Collapses

The Government and the CAA have jointly launched a repatriation scheme to get tens of thousands of British holiday makers home, following the collapse of Thomas Cook.

Grant Shapps, the Secretary of State for Transport, said in a statement:

“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.”

Andrea Leadsom, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, said in a statement:

“This will be a hugely worrying time for employees of Thomas Cook, as well as their customers. Government will do all it can to support them. I will be setting up a cross-government taskforce to monitor local impacts, will write to insurance companies to ask them to process claims quickly, and stand ready to provide assistance and advice.

I will also be writing to the Insolvency Service to ask them to prioritise and fast-track their investigation into the circumstances surrounding Thomas Cook going into liquidation.”

Rebecca Long Bailey, the Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, said in a statement:

“Thanks to the government’s failure to act, staff employed by Thomas Cook may face redundancy while holiday makers risk being left stranded overseas. The government must stop its recklessness and step in to avert this crisis by taking an equity stake.”

Government to Assist in Returning 110,000 Passengers to the UK after Monarch Airlines Collapse

The Government has confirmed that it will be offering assistance to ensure that 110,000 passengers can be returned to the UK following the collapse of Monarch, the country’s fifth largest airline. The Government said that the project was the largest peacetime repatriation of citizens in history but that it would work with ATOL to ensure a minimum of inconvenience is caused.

Chris Grayling, the Secretary of State for Transport, said:

“This is a hugely distressing situation for British holidaymakers abroad – and my first priority is to help them get back to the UK.

That is why I have immediately ordered the country’s biggest ever peacetime repatriation to fly about 110,000 passengers who could otherwise have been left stranded abroad.

This is an unprecedented response to an unprecedented situation. Together with the CAA, we will work around the clock to ensure Monarch passengers get the support they need.

Nobody should underestimate the size of the challenge, so I ask passengers to be patient and act on the advice given by the CAA”.