Over 500,000 travelers have been affected by the sudden collapse of the historic British travel firm Thomas Cook PLC. The 178-year-old company collapsed late last night and canceled all flights, stranding over 150,000 British travelers alone. The company’s 21,000 employees will now be jobless. Recently appointed Prime Minister Boris Johnson has now been tasked with the nation’s biggest repatriation effort since World War 2. The British government has already stepped in to rescue stranded tourists by chartering more than 60 flights thus far to accommodate those abandoned by Thomas Cook.
Thomas Cook PLC had been the premier British upper-class travel agency for nearly two centuries. They are notorious for their grand tours across highly coveted European destinations, specifically the Mediterranean region. The company had recently been under serious financial pressure from creditors to find an additional 200 million Euros to allow further fund injection. The companies outlook had been looking increasingly bleak since the rise of low-budget airlines in Europe like EasyJet and Ryanair. Thomas Cook had also been negatively impacted by the Brexit uncertainty affecting the value of the pound, which is crucial in the travel industry.