Thomas Cook’s chief executive Peter Fankhauser wrote an email to staff explaining that the failure occurred despite “fierce negotiation”.
“It is with a heavy heart that I write this message to you,” the letter reads.
“I deeply regret to inform you that after many months of fierce negotiation we have failed to find the support required for the continued future of the Thomas Cook Group.
“I know you will find this incredibly difficult to digest – as I do.
“However, I want you to know that the team and I explored every avenue and beyond to save this business.”
The UK businesses are now under the control of the official receiver who has appointed AlixPartners and KPMG as special managers to oversee the liquidation, and in the case of AlixPartners, to work with the business to assist the CAA on repatriation.
These insolvency proceedings do not involve the continental and Nordic businesses.
“The coming weeks are going to be extremely difficult,” continued Fankhauser.
“However, I know I can rely on you all to behave in the same exemplary way you have always done in times of crisis.
“Shortly, you will receive invitations to relevant townhalls and team meetings that will be supported by our HR colleagues and professionals from AlixPartners or KPMG.
“It has been an honour and my great privilege to work with all of you for the past 20 years.
“I am so proud of everything you have done to keep our customers at the heart of everything we do; your dedication and expertise is the reason why Thomas Cook will always be one of the best-loved brands in travel.
“Thank you for all of your support. I truly wish you all the best for your future.”