The CAA says nearly 30,000 Thomas Cook passengers, stranded overseas following the iconic operator’s collapse, have been flown home during the first two days of Operation Matterhorn – the UK’s largest peacetime repatriation effort to date.
More than 130 flights, via capacity sourced from across the global aviation sector, have so far brought home around 20% of Cook passengers requiring repatriation, with more than 95% returning the same day they were due to fly back to the UK.
A further 70-plus flights are due to operate on Wednesday (25 September). It is estimated the operation, which is due to run until 6 October, will eventually comprise more than 1,000 flights, with more than 150,000 Cook passengers requiring repatriation.
CAA chief executive Richard Moriarty said: “We have now operated more than 130 flights in the first two days of this operation, returning almost 30,000 people to the UK. So far, we are flying home 95% of people on their original date of departure at the end of their holiday.
“I would like those remaining on holiday to enjoy the rest of their stay because we aim to also fly you home on the day when you were originally booked to fly with Thomas Cook, or very shortly thereafter.
“This remains a highly complex operation and I would like to thank holidaymakers for their patience, as some inconvenience and disruption is likely. I’d also like to stress my thanks to the UK airline industry and our partners which have lent us incredible support for what is the UK’s largest ever peacetime repatriation”.