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Thomas Cook Airlines cancels all flights, stranding more than 150,000 people amid company’s compulsory liquidation


British airline Thomas Cook cancelled all flights, leaving more than 150,000 people stranded amid the company’s collapse and compulsory liquidation as it ceased trading.

“Thomas Cook UK Plc and the wider UK business has entered insolvency,” a statement on the airline’s website reads. “The UK business has ceased trading with immediate effect and all future flights and holidays are cancelled.”

Despite talks on the company’s structure with stakeholders, “those discussions have not resulted in agreement,” leaving the company’s board “no choice but to take steps to enter into compulsory liquidation with immediate effect," a statement from Thomas Cook Group posted early Monday said.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority is working to coordinate travel arrangements for more than 150,000 passengers who were stranded abroad after their flights were cancelled.

Those with flights leaving the UK “must not go to the airport," the CAA said, as the flights would no longer be operating.

“The Government has asked the UK Civil Aviation Authority to launch a repatriation program over the next two weeks ... to bring Thomas Cook customers back to the UK. Due to the unprecedented number of UK customers currently overseas who are affected by the situation, the Civil Aviation Authority has secured a fleet of aircraft from around the world to bring passengers back to the UK with return flights,” the CAA said in a statement.

A website dedicated to helping those stranded abroad by the immediate collapse has been created by the CAA.

Thomas Cook’s chief executive, Peter Fankhauser, expressed his apologies to those affected by the liquidation.

“It is a matter of profound regret to me and the rest of the board that we were not successful. I would like to apologize to our millions of customers, and thousands of employees, suppliers and partners who have supported us for many years. Despite huge uncertainty over recent weeks, our teams continued to put customers first, showing why Thomas Cook is one of the best-loved brands in travel," Frankhauser said in a statement.