The boss of Thomas Cook has apologised to its legion of industry suppliers and partners “who now face difficult financial decisions of their own”.
In his first public appearance since the CAA confirmed the company’s failure this morning, chief executive Peter Fankhauser said he wanted to say sorry to “the many thousands of hoteliers and suppliers who have stuck by our business in good times and in bad”.
The iconic brand collapsed in the early hours after 178 years in operation with more than 150,000 passengers overseas.
Fankhauser said he found it “deeply distressing that it has not been possible to save one of the most loved brands in travel”.
“Despite huge efforts over a number of months and further intense negotiations in recent days, we have not been able to secure a deal to save our business. I know that this outcome will be devastating to many people and will cause a lot of anxiety, stress and disruption,” he said in a statement read outside the company’s London offices.
He also added his sympathies “to my 21,000 colleagues, who I know will be heartbroken”.
“You all fought so hard to make Thomas Cook a success,” he continued, before going on to apologise to Cook customers currently on holiday with the company and booked to travel in future.