Cyprus Mail

Seven flights being operated on Wednesday to repatriate Thomas Cook passengers

File photo: Larnaca Airport (CNA)

Seven flights carrying stranded Thomas Cook passengers were scheduled to fly out from Larnaca to Newcastle, Gatwick, Manchester, Glasgow, Birmingham, Belfast, Bristol and one from Paphos to Manchester on Wednesday, Hermes Airports said.

The operator said that on Tuesday three flights departed from Paphos airport to Manchester, London Gatwick, and the East Midlands. The flights were operated by Ryanair, EasyJet and Titan Airways.

“Six other flights from Thomas Cook Scandinavia, cancelled on Monday 23 September, were rescheduled and operated from last night until early today to Gothenburg, Helsinki, Copenhagen, Billund, Stockholm, and Malmo. Five flights were operated by Thomas Cook Scandinavia, while one was operated by Finnair,” the statement said.

Deputy tourism minister Savvas Perdios said on Wednesday that the Thomas Cook Scandinavian subsidiary would most likely survive because of its good management practices but this would be confirmed by the end of the month.

According to Hermes, no rescue flights have been scheduled for Thursday. The public can find updated information at the Hermes Airports website and on social media at @cyprusaeropolis.

It was also confirmed that the collapse of Thomas Cook will not affect the activities of Russian travel agent Biblio Globus.

In their announcement, Biblio Globus stressed that “as a destination, Cyprus is a priority for us and we will continue to increase our numbers and strive to bring more tourists to the island.”

The Polish arm of the travel giant and a German subsidiary, Thomas Cook GmbH, have filed for bankruptcy.

Another Thomas Cook subsidiary in Germany, Condor, previously said they were granted a €380 million government loan to keep them afloat. The management of Thomas Cook GmbH also applied for a bridging loan.

A total of about 30,000 Thomas Cook customers living in the UK and abroad at the time of the travel group’s bankruptcy returned to their home country in the first two days of the repatriation operation, according to the British Civil Aviation Authority.

On Wednesday, it was estimated that another 16,500 tourists would be repatriated, out of the 120,000 Britons who remain abroad.

“We have now operated more than 130 flights in the first two days of this operation, repatriating almost 30,000 people to the United Kingdom. So far we are returning 95 per cent of people on their original day of departure at the end of their holiday. ” Civil Aviation chief executive Richard Moriarty said. “We want people to continue to enjoy their holiday, so we will bring them back to the U.K. on their original departure day, or very soon thereafter.”

However, reports continue to circulate that hoteliers in countries where tourists are stranded, are asking Thomas Cook customers to pay for their stay, despite the fact that they have already paid for the holiday and despite assurances that the UK government guarantees will cover the cost of the packages of those tourists who are currently abroad. Only those who stayed in a Thomas Cook hotel but flew with a different airline were to be asked to pay for the remainder of their stay.  Thomas Cook flights and Thomas Cook holiday packages were to be covered by the British government.

Reports said on Wednesday that In Cuba, Thomas Cook’s customers and flight attendants were temporarily not allowed to leave hotels until payment was made. The problem, however, was resolved. Thomas Cook, which started life in 1841 by offering local rail excursions and grew to pioneer package holidays, collapsed early on Monday stranding hundreds of thousands of holidaymakers.

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