thomas cook was considered to be a giant in the Travel industry. A cabinetmaker established it in 1841 to organize day trips for a select group of people and over the years, it spread its wings and grew. Its website reveals some statistics about its infrastructure in the form of aircraft and own hotels and resorts across the world.

However, it has collapsed and left its customers high and dry. It seems it was unable to arrange for funds to rescue it from the inevitable and folded up. Some factors that brought about its demise are online competition, market trends that keep changing, fear of terrorism, heatwaves in Europe and uncertainties surrounding Brexit that led people to postpone their holidays.

Sky News mentions about plans of the administration to repatriate those who are stranded all over the world. The program codenamed Operation Matterhorn could go on until Sunday, October 6. The number of persons rescued would be double of the repatriation done in the case of Monarch Airlines that failed in 2017. On a rough estimate, there are nearly 600,000 global customers of Thomas Cook stranded in hotels and resorts.

Operation Matterhorn to repatriate the stranded

This operation is UK's biggest peacetime repatriation to bring home the stranded 150,000 Thomas Cook customers to the UK.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has taken up work on a war footing and have mobilized aircraft from a number of airlines like British Airways and EasyJet. These airlines have a global network that will come in handy. An official of the CAA says – “We expect to run around 1000 flights from the 55 destinations that Thomas Cook served.”

Sky News gives an insight into the magnitude of the problem.

Already nearly one million customers had booked their travel on Thomas Cook – the authorities have advised them about total cancellation of all bookings. Aircraft belonging to the travel company are grounded at their destinations and the employees are jobless. The 178-year-old travel company never expected to land in such a crisis.

The collapse of Thomas Cook a ‘matter of profound regret’

According to BBC, Peter Fankhauser, chief executive of Thomas Cook, said - the firm's collapse was a "matter of profound regret." He explains that efforts to save the situation failed even after last-minute negotiations.

This led to the biggest ever exercise in repatriation during times of peace. The government has chartered aircraft to bring customers home. Some of the operators include EasyJet and Virgin and the jets could come from Malaysia. Monarch Airlines collapsed in 2017 and now Thomas Cook in 2019. Obviously, the travel industry is facing an uncertain future due to the prevailing global scenario. A few of these are political unrest in holiday destinations plus threats of terrorism coupled with severe climatic conditions like heatwaves, typhoons, and forest fires.

The industry must ensure the least disruption in their services and preempt situations.

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