Thomas Cook has collapsed after 178 years following unsuccessful negotiations to save the company.
The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said the holiday company has ceased trading with immediate effect. Working with the UK government, the CAA will now begin the process of bringing 150,000 holidaymakers back to the UK, the biggest peacetime repatriation operation.
The collapse puts 22,000 jobs at risk, with 9,000 of those in the UK.
According to the BBC, Thomas Cook requested a £250 million bailout from the government, but the government concluded that such a move would only save the company for a few weeks.
The government has chartered 45 planes specifically to bring back people were already on holiday across 64 flight routes. There are currently 16,000 holidaymakers already booked to return to the UK on Monday, and the government and CAA are hoping to bring back at least 14,000 of them as planned today.
The CAA is also in the process of contacting hotels hosting Thomas Cook customers to inform them that the cost will be covered by the government through the Air Travel Trust Fund and Air Travel Organiser’s Licence scheme (Atol).