UPDATE: Thomas Cook bankruptcy affects some 600k tourists, Condor subsidiary to keep flying

2019-09-23 11:43
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Condor, the German airline subsidiary of British travel giant Thomas Cook has confirmed it would continue flying even after its parent company declared bankruptcy.

Underlining that it had been "profitable for many years," the airline added that "to prevent liquidity bottlenecks at Condor, it has applied for a state-guaranteed bridging loan" which is being examined in Berlin.  

READ: What to do when you've booked with a collapsed tour company like Thomas Cook  

This follows Monday's announcement that the company had declared bankruptcy after failing to reach a last-ditch rescue deal, triggering the UK's biggest repatriation since World War II to bring back stranded passengers.

The 178-year-old operator had been desperately seeking £200m ($250m or about R3.7bn at R18.57/£) from private investors to save it from collapse. An estimated 600 000 tourists have been stranded worldwide.  

Thomas Cook is seen as the inventor of the package holiday, as the brand became an travel iconic in its own right offering airline, travel agencies and travel finance services and products. 

Industry analysis shows that like the travellers cheque was replaced by internationally-accepted credit cards, so too the package holiday booked through an agent has been replaced by the rise of Online Travel Agents and Apps that have empowered the DIY online traveller to search, compare and book their own travel options. 

READ: Travel agent vs DYI: 3 Scenarios to consider

High cost to get those stranded back home

Ultimately, Thomas Cook’s rising debts have lead to its downfall. Ironically, UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnston rejected a rescue proposal by UK Govt for about £15m - but will now spend far more with the global repatriation exercise to transport some 150 000 holidaymakers to the UK. 

Added to this, AFP reports some 140 000 German tourists are currently abroad on holidays booked with the bankrupt group. "The firm said that 21 000 people had been booked to depart on flights bought through Thomas Cook on Monday or Tuesday, adding that it "cannot guarantee" travel on either day.

Turkey to back businesses hit by Thomas Cook collapse

Turkey said Monday it would support local businesses impacted by the collapse of British tour operator Thomas Cook, adding that 21 033 of its customers were currently in the country.

"The tourism and finance ministries are working on a 'credit support package' to be put in place as soon as possible to help (affected) businesses," the tourism ministry said on Twitter.

Antalya in Turkey was one of Thomas Cook's top destinations, along with Bodrum and Dalaman.

*Compiled by Selene Brophy

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