Authorities in the UK say they’re working to bring home citizens stranded across the world because of the bankruptcy filing of British travel agency Thomas Cook.
Some 150,000 citizens were left stranded in what is believed to be the single largest repatriation effort by the British government since World War II. Among them were travelers across North Africa, where Thomas Cook tours are commonly booked for Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco.
“This repatriation is hugely complex and we are working around the clock to support passengers,” the Thomas Cook firm said in a statement. It is working with the UK Civil Aviation Authority to coordinate the response.
An additional 450,000 Thomas Cook travelers are stranded somewhere on the globe, the BBC reports.
The African Tourism Board (ATB), based in Pretoria, South Africa, said it was ready to assist in any way possible to help those Thomas Cook tourists who are stranded on the continent.
“We are aware travelers in Africa that booked through Thomas Cook and affiliated companies including Neckermann and others in Germany are in need of assistance,” said Cuthbert Ncube of the ATB.
“The African Tourism Board is appealing to tourism companies, hotels, safari lodges, airlines, and cruise lines to do their best and help guests that booked and paid for a holiday with Thomas Cook and related companies.”
Thomas Cook says that for passengers already abroad whose flights originated in the UK, the repatriation flights will be available through October 6. After that, travelers will need to make their own arrangements.
A special website, available here, has been set up for Thomas Cook travelers who are stranded outside the country.
Image: Thomas Cook