Thomas Cook liquidation under investigation

The Insolvency Service has been asked to fast-track its investigation into the circumstances surrounding the liquidation of Thomas Cook, following the tour operator's collapse early this morning. It is understood that the investigation will also consider the conduct of the directors.

The 178-year old tour operator confirmed today that it had entered into compulsory liquidation after repeated attempts to save the group failed.

As of this morning, all Thomas Cook bookings, flights and holidays have now been cancelled, and its retail shops closed.

The government is now working with the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to help passengers return to the UK. Repatriation will be carried out either on CAA-operated flights or on existing flights with other airlines – both for ATOL-protected passengers and those who are not protected. It is thought that some 600,000 passengers are affected, 150,000 of which are British.

The government has said it also intends to convene a cross-government taskforce to monitor the impact on local businesses.

Business secretary Andrea Leadsom said it was doing all it could to support employees and customers.

“This will be a hugely worrying time for employees of Thomas Cook, as well as their customers. Government will do all it can to support them. I will be setting up a cross-government taskforce to monitor local impacts, will write to insurance companies to ask them to process claims quickly, and stand ready to provide assistance and advice," she said. “I will also be writing to the Insolvency Service to ask them to prioritise and fast-track their investigation into the circumstances surrounding Thomas Cook going into liquidation.”

Numerous other businesses will also be affected by this situation, and the Civil Aviation Authority is working to reach the tour operator’s suppliers to guarantee payment so that customers can continue their holidays without disruption.

It has asked suppliers to Thomas Cook with Thomas Cook Holidays' customers booked with them to not ask customers to pay again or to leave the accommodation as the UK Civil Aviation Authority will be arranging payment.

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