British travel firm Thomas Cook collapses, leaving hundreds of thousands stranded

Corfu... Malta... Crete... Mallorca.

Chaotic travel scenes were replicated at airports around the world

as hundreds of thousands of holidaymakers were stranded

after Thomas Cook - the world's oldest travel firm - collapsed.

It's thought some travellers may find themselves stuck in hotels that have not been paid for, as far afield as Goa and Gambia.

The liquidation has sparked the largest peacetime repatriation effort in British history - the firm currently has around 150,000 British tourists abroad.

When counting all nationalities of customers impacted, the figure is closer to 600,000.

Thomas Cook ran hotels, resorts and airlines for 19 million customers a year, employing around 21,000 people.

But over a decade, it built up debts, thanks to a number of ill-timed deals.

And the holiday firm was unable to respond to online competition.

Its CEO Peter Fankhauser issued an apology on Monday (September 23) morning.


"Despite huge efforts over a number of months and further intense negotiations in recent days, we have not been able to secure a deal to save our business."

The latest attempt had been for a government bailout of around $187 million.

The longer term fallout could hit the tourism sectors in the countries Thomas Cook operated in -

including Spain and Turkey, where jet fuel suppliers could be left out of pocket.

In Britain, hundreds of travel agents will close, further damaging the country's ailing high streets.

The collapse marks another blow for the British economy, just as the country attempts to negotiate its complicated exit from the EU.