Operation Matterhorn Is a Go as Britain's Largest Peacetime Repatriation

Hundreds of thousands of people stranded after Thomas Cook collapse 1 photo
Photo: Daily Express
In the early hours on Monday, September 23, the collapse of one of the world's largest tourism agencies, Thomas Cook, has left hundreds of thousands of people stranded in hotels, resorts and cruise ships around the globe. To save at least part of them, the Brits announced the launch of Operation Matterhorn.
This is the code name given by the government to what is dubbed by British media and officials as the country's greatest repatriation effort in times of peace. In all, some 150,000 people will be transported back to the island on board a giant fleet of charter planes hired for the task.

To support the operation, hundreds of people have been mobilized to handle call centers and airport operations for the stranded. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps says it will take about two weeks to get everybody home.

"Thomas Cook's collapse is very sad news for staff and holidaymakers. The Government and UK CAA is working round the clock to help people,” the official was quoted as saying by The Telegraph.

"But the task is enormous, the biggest peacetime repatriation in UK history. So there are bound to be problems and delays. Please try to be understanding with the staff who are trying to assist in what is likely to be a very difficult time for them as well."

Regarded as one of the largest tour operators in the world, Thomas Cook slowly sank to the bottom of a huge financial hole because of a variety of reasons, ranging from wheater changes to the fierce competition coming from online travel agencies.

Despite its 19 million customers last year, the company posted a loss of $1.7 billion in the first half of 2018 and has been living for a while on loans. The latest loan agreement it was attempting to get failed over the weekend.

Estimates are there are currently around 600,000 people on vacation with Thomas Cook. The ones that are not British citizens will be helped by their own respective countries.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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