Effort to bring home stranded Thomas Cook travellers underway

LONDON (AP) – The British government has flown home the first 14,500 people stranded by the collapse of tour operator Thomas Cook, and is expected to ramp up the repatriation effort to get all the 150,000 United Kingdom (UK)-based customers home in two weeks.

The Civil Aviation Authority said yesterday the first batch of people were flown back after Thomas Cook ceased all operations on Monday, leaving hundreds of thousands stranded around the world.

It was still unclear how many of the 600,000 total that were traveling with the company as of Sunday would remain stranded. German authorities were still mulling a request for a bridging loan from airline Condor, a subsidiary of Thomas Cook.

British passengers with Thomas Cook wait in long queue at Antalya airport in Antalya, Turkey. PHOTO: AP