British travel group Thomas Cook has entered into compulsory liquidation effective immediately, canceling all flights and tours, leaving hundreds of thousands stranded and affecting upcoming Cancun, Riviera Maya travel bookings.
The bankruptcy was confirmed by the British Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Monday after the airline failed an emergency negotiation bailout with its main shareholders and creditors. Thomas Cook, which employs 22,000 people globally, “has ceased operations with immediate effect,” the regulator said in a statement.
Currently, there are 600,000 Thomas Cook tourists on vacation who are now stranded in places around the world. The countries with the most travelers affected by the bankruptcy are Greece, Turkey, Tunisia and Spain, however, hotels in Cancun and Riviera Maya will also feel the effect.
“All reservations of the Thomas Cook Group, which include flights and vacations, have been canceled,” the CAA explained.
On its Twitter account, Thomas Cook made the announcement, saying “We are sorry to announce that Thomas Cook has ceased trading with immediate effect. This account will not be monitored. Please visit http://thomascook.caa.co.uk for further advice and information.”
On their website, the company says “The Government and the Civil Aviation Authority are now working together to do everything we can to support passengers due to fly back to the UK with Thomas Cook between 23 September 2019 and 6 October 2019. Depending on your location, this will be either on CAA-operated flights or by using existing flights with other airlines.”
Peter Fankhauser, CEO of Thomas Cook said, “It is a deep regret that we did not succeed in the meeting. I would like to apologize to our millions of customers and thousands of employees, suppliers and partners who have supported us for many years.”
On Sunday morning, shareholders and creditors met in a law firm in central London to seek a solution to obtain the 200 million pounds needed to continue operating, however, by the afternoon, the meetings dissolved without a resolution.
The bankruptcy of Thomas Cook is also a blow to the Cancun and Riviera Maya tourist industry, since the hotels have been left without payment for upcoming tours and hotel packages.