Travel staff work around the clock to rescue

Staff at Central England Co-op Travel have been working around the clock to help travellers after the collapse of Thomas Cook.

Monday, 30th September 2019, 10:11 am
Central England Co-op Travel.
Central England Co-op Travel.

Colleagues at Travel Shops, in Bourne, March, Market Deeping, Peterborough, St Ives, St Neots and Wisbech, have been working to ensure holidaymakers impacted by the demise of the 178-year-old firm are supported and informed about the plans in place to ensure their safe return home.

The travel arm of Central England Co-op has confirmed that everyone currently on a Thomas Cook holiday will be able to get home as part of Operation Matterhorn.

Cheryl Cipriano, Travel Shop Manager in Peterborough, said: “Our dedicated and knowledgeable team have been working non-stop and are pleased to have been able to speak to all of our customers impacted by the closure of Thomas Cook to offer expert advice and support.

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“As an independent travel agent our priority has been to ensure that all of our customers currently abroad on holiday are returned safely to the UK and we are pleased to say that everyone will be able to get home safely as part of Operation Matterhorn.

“We have also been in contact with those who have booked-holidays and are working with them to ensure they get all the help they need.

“We would like to remind all of our customers that we are also available for anyone seeking advice on the situation or who may need help with filling in compensation forms."

Holiday giant Thomas Cook collapsed on September 23 with its debts reported to have reached £1.7 billion leaving 150,000 holiday makers stranded overseas. Some 21,000 staff, including 1,000 at Lynch Wood, in Peterborough,lost their jobs.

The travel operator's liquidation forced the Civil Aviation Authority to launch Operation Matterhorn, the biggest repatriation since the Second World War, to bring holiday makers home using a so-called 'secret airline'.

Ms Cipriano said: "The travel business is like one big family and this is why we have been saddened by the news that Thomas Cook has ceased trading.

"We would like to send our best wishes to the staff who we have worked closely with for many years and our thanks to our customers during this challenging time.”

Regular updates on the Thomas Cook situation can be found by visiting thomascook.caa.co.uk, calling 0300 303 2800 in the UK and +44 1753 330 330 from abroad.

Central England Co-op Travel customers can also keep up to date by visiting www.centralengland.coop or by calling the Travel Shops direct.