September 24, 2019 / 10:51 AM / 3 months ago

Factbox: Countries scramble after Thomas Cook collapse strands travelers

(Reuters) - The collapse of British travel operator Thomas Cook TCG.L has left hundreds of thousands holidaymakers abroad and forced governments and insurers to coordinate a huge operation to get them home.

Thomas Cook passengers queue in front of check-in desks on the second day of repatriations at Reus airport, next to Tarragona, Spain, September 24, 2019. REUTERS/Albert Gea

The company ran hotels, resorts and airlines ferrying 19 million people a year to 16 different countries.

Here is a summary of actions being taken:

BRITAIN

Emergency flights had brought 14,700 people back to the United Kingdom on 64 flights on Monday, and around 135,300 more were expected to be returned over the next 13 days, Britain’s aviation regulator said.

GERMANY

Thomas Cook holiday airline Condor has said it would continue to operate flights despite its parent company’s insolvency.

The German government will decide within the next coming days on whether to offer financial support to Condor, German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said on Tuesday.

Thomas Cook says there are roughly 140,000 holidaymakers currently traveling with its German units.

NORDICS

Thomas Cook’s Nordic business said it would continue to operate as it is a separate legal entity from its London-listed parent and added that it was looking for new owners.

The Nordic arm of Thomas Cook said on Monday all its flights would resume on Tuesday, although some disruptions were reported.

The Nordic business consists of two legal entities, Thomas Cook Northern Europe and Thomas Cook Scandinavian Airlines, and is also known as Ving Group.

The business operates under several brands: Ving in Norway, Spies in Denmark, Tjäreborg in Finland, as well as Ving and Globetrotter in Sweden.

SPAIN

The collapse has affected 53,000 Britons in Spain, Spanish Acting Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto told reporters.

The ministry has been in touch with German and Swedish authorities to ensure Thomas Cook subsidiaries continue to operate at least for the winter season, she added.

POLAND

Thomas Cook’s Polish unit, Neckermann Polska, said on Tuesday that it has canceled some flights and temporarily stopped taking any new bookings.

Neckermann Polska said it has canceled all flights scheduled for Sept. 25 and flights to Zakynthos and Majorca on Sept. 24.

GREECE

A Greek tourism ministry official told Reuters that about 50,000 tourists were stranded.

“The top priority now is to get them back home,” the official said, declining to be identified.

CYPRUS

Cyprus says 15,000 Thomas Cook customers are stranded on the island.

“We will work intensively... I believe that a large portion of the arrivals we stand to lose will somehow be regulated by the market and other travel agencies,” Deputy Minister of Tourism Savvas Perdios told Reuters.

FRANCE

French organization Entreprises de Voyage said that about 10,000 French tourists could be affected by the bankruptcy of Thomas Cook.

HUNGARY

Thomas Cook’s Hungarian unit Neckermann Magyarorszag said in a statement on its website that it was continuing its operations and all passengers would be able to return from abroad as planned.

It said its financial situation was stable and its assets were sufficient guarantee that its passengers would not suffer any financial damage. It said passengers should contact its offices directly about upcoming flights.

THE NETHERLANDS

The Dutch unit of Thomas Cook on Tuesday said it had canceled all travel booked through Thomas Cook Netherlands and subsidiary Neckermann.

BELGIUM

Thomas Cook’s Belgium unit was not taking new bookings on Tuesday morning. Brussels Airlines, which flew passengers booked on Thomas Cook packages, canceled two sets of flights to and from Tunisia.

Following the difficult financial situation at Thomas Cook Belgium and the fact that the tour operator cannot honor overdue payments from recent weeks, Brussels Airlines, part of Lufthansa (LHAG.DE), said it would be forced to start cancelling flights that the airline operates on behalf of the tour operator.

BULGARIA

There are currently about 2,500 tourists in Bulgaria who have booked their holidays through Thomas Cook. Tourism Minister Nikolina Angelkova said the UK government and the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority were taking measures to get them home.

RUSSIA

Thomas Cook’s Russian tour operator subsidiary, Intourist, said the bankruptcy of Thomas Cook will have no impact on clients, Executive Director Sergei Tolchin told Interfax.

TURKEY

The Turkish Ministry of Tourism said it will provide support for local companies affected by the Thomas Cook collapse.

The head of the country’s Hotelier Federation said about 45,000 tourists from the UK and elsewhere in Europe are in the country.

MOROCCO

Morocco’s tourism ministry said it had created a crisis unit to handle the fallout from Thomas Cook’s collapse. Thomas Cook operated two flights to Marrakesh a week. No official numbers were given.

EGYPT

Thomas Cook operator Blue Sky Group said that 25,000 reservations in Egypt booked up to April 2020 had been canceled. Blue Sky currently has 1,600 tourists in Egypt’s Hugharda resort.

Thomas Cook passengers queue in front of check-in desks on the second day of repatriations at Reus airport, next to Tarragona, Spain, September 24, 2019. REUTERS/Albert Gea

TUNISIA

Tunisian tourism minister Rene Trabelsi told Reuters that 4,500 Thomas Cook customers are still on holiday in Tunisia.

INDIA

Thomas Cook India (THOM.NS) said it had been unaffected as it has been a separate entity since August 2012.

Reporting by Tommy Lund and Jagoda Darlak; editing by Jason Neely and Keith Weir

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