The foreign secretary has stated in a TV interview that “all” Thomas Cook passengers stranded overseas would be “supported” should the company collapse.
Dominic Raab told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show that the government had contingency plans in place in the event talks to rescue Cook – taking place today (22 September) – should fail.
He suggested all customers would be taken care of: “We would wait to see and hope that it [Thomas Cook] can continue but in any event, as you would expect, we’ve got the contingency planning in place to make sure that in any worst-case scenario we can support all those who might otherwise be stranded,” Raab said.
In 2017 following the collapse of Monarch Airlines, the government stepped in to repatriate all customers, even those not covered by Atol. This attracted criticism from some in the industry, who claimed it undermined the scheme.
Raab went on to say during the Marr interview however that contingency arrangements would differ depending on the nature of the booking.
“I don’t want to give all the details of it because it depends on the nature of how people are out there, whether they have got a package holiday or whether they just paid for the flights and sorted out something separately,” he said.
He added: “But I can reassure people that in the worst case scenario, the contingency planning is there to avoid people being stranded.”
BBC News reports Raab said that ministers did not “systematically step in” when businesses collapsed, unless there was “a good strategic national interest”.