The collapse of Thomas Cook has plunged governments across Europe and Africa into crisis-planning mode as they help with the repatriation of more than 500,000 stranded tourists and begin to count the cost of the UK holiday company’s demise on already-battered economies.
About 50,000 holidaymakers are stranded in Greece, 21,000 in Turkey, 15,000 in Cyprus and 4,500 in Tunisia. Thousands of tourists are also stuck in the US and dozens of other countries. Most of the tourists are from the UK with an estimated 150,000 people, followed by Germany with about 140,000 holidaymakers.
Many of Thomas Cook’s German subsidiaries have stopped trading, but at present the group’s German airline, Condor, is still operating. About 240,000 people are booked to return home on Condor flights, but the airline will not carry those who booked their trips via Thomas Cook. The situation in Germany could get worse if Condor fails in its attempt to secure a $200m bridging loan from the German government.
Melisa Rodríguez, a Spanish politician and representative for Tenerife, said the collapse of Thomas Cook could hit the Spanish economy and the Canary Islands in particular. She demanded action from Spain’s caretaker government.
About 525 Thomas Cook flights, carrying mainly tourists, were due to fly into Spanish airports over the next two weeks, with about 70 percent on UK-Spanish routes. Ms Rodríguez said 30,000 people were currently stranded on the Canary Islands, 3,000 on the Balearics.