The Latest: German airline won’t take Thomas Cook travelers
LONDON (AP) — The Latest on the collapse of British tour company Thomas Cook (all times local):
Germany’s Condor airline says it can no longer carry travelers who booked with Thomas Cook companies.
Condor, itself owned by Thomas Cook, said early Monday that it is still flying and is seeking a bridging loan from the German government. Thomas Cook’s German branch, meanwhile, said it couldn’t guarantee that tours departing Monday and Tuesday would take place and that it had stopped selling tours. It said that it is considering remaining options but, if they fail, several German Thomas Cook companies would have to apply for insolvency.
News agency dpa reported that Condor then said that for legal reasons it can no longer transport passengers who booked with Thomas Cook companies. According to Thomas Cook, 140,000 people who booked with its German tour operators are currently on vacation and 21,000 were supposed to depart Monday or Tuesday.
The Belgian branch of British tour company Thomas Cook says it continues its operations while trying to “limit the impact” of the company’s collapse.
Thomas Cook Belgium employs 600 people. It says in a statement released Monday it is profitable, with some 700,000 vacationers using its services every year.
Thomas Cook Belgium says it “is currently exploring options to limit the impact of Thomas Cook Group Plc’s bankruptcy on its customers and employees.”
The company added that clients who booked their holidays via Thomas Cook Belgium or its local partner Neckermann are covered by a travel guarantee fund.
The British tour company collapsed Monday after failing to secure emergency funding, leaving tens of thousands of vacationers stranded abroad.
Unions representing Thomas Cook workers have reacted with anger to the collapse of the travel company.
The general secretary of the British Airline Pilots’ Association said Monday the hopes that the tour company could survive have been dashed.
“The staff have been stabbed in the back without a second’s thought,” said union head Brian Strutton.
He said Monday the union will do everything possible to help workers find jobs at other airlines.
Manuel Cortes, leader of the Transport Salaried Staffs Association, said the collapse need not have happened.
“The government had been given ample opportunity to step in and help Thomas Cook but has instead chosen ideological dogma over saving thousands of jobs,” he said.
Thomas Cook’s German airline subsidiary, Condor, says it is still flying and is seeking a bridging loan from the German government.
Condor said on its website Monday morning that its flights are going ahead as scheduled despite the parent company’s insolvency.
It said in a statement that “to prevent liquidity shortages at Condor, a state-guaranteed bridging loan has been applied for.” It said that the German government is currently considering that application.
Britain’s Civil Aviation Authority said early Monday that Thomas Cook has ceased trading.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the government was right not to bail out tour company Thomas Cook, arguing that travel firms should do more to ensure they don’t collapse.
The 178-year-old tour operator ceased trading Monday after failing to secure 200 million pounds ($250 million) in rescue funding.
Johnson said the government would help repatriate 150,000 stranded British travelers. But he said bailing out the company would have established “a moral hazard” because other firms might later expect the same treatment.
Johnson said, “We need to look at ways in which tour operators one way or another can protect themselves from such bankruptcies in future.”
He added, “One is driven to reflect on whether the directors of these companies are properly incentivized to sort such matters out.”
British tour operator Thomas Cook has ceased trading and all its hundreds of thousands of bookings canceled after the firm failed to secure rescue funding.
The Civil Aviation Authority announced the film’s collapse early Monday. More than 600,000 vacationers had booked through the company.
CAA said 150,000 are British customers now abroad who will have to be repatriated.
The group’s four airlines will be grounded and its 21,000 employees in 16 countries, including 9,000 in the UK, will be left unemployed.
The debt-laden company had said Friday it was seeking 200 million pounds ($250 million) to avoid going bust, was in talks with shareholders and creditors to stave off failure.