The CAA has confirmed that all Thomas Cook customers will be repatriated, regardless of how they booked.
Thomas Cook collapsed this morning (23 September) with more than 150,000 passengers overseas.
A CAA spokesperson has now confirmed to TTG that all passengers, “regardless of their Atol cover” will be repatriated.
It will be the UK CAA’s biggest ever peacetime repatriation.
The CAA said the government had asked it to conduct the repatriation programme over the next two weeks, from Monday 23 September to Sunday 6 October.
When Monarch failed in 2017, 110,000 passengers were left stranded overseas and a further 750,000 had forward bookings.
The government and CAA stepped in and launched Britain’s biggest peacetime repatriation programme to date. It cost the taxpayer £60 million and left a £16 million dent in the Air Travel Trust Fund (ATTF).
Abta was highly critical of the intervention, warning that it set a dangerous precedent, and the ATT has called for clarity on what the Monarch response means for the so-called “Atol fund”.
A review following the collapse of Monarch recommended a “less than 50p” per passenger levy on all air tickets to create a new ring-fenced fund set aside to bring home travellers stranded in the event of an airline going bust.
Established in January 2018, this Airline Insolvency Review – chaired by Peter Bucks – and published in May, recommended a new “formal repatriation protection scheme” covering all ex-UK air passengers holding a return ticket with an airline that becomes insolvent while they are overseas.
A consultation period was launched for this.