As the damage of Thomas Cook’s collapse begins to unfold, it’s clear that some individuals need to step in. Wealthy and powerful individuals, that is.
Last Sunday, the world’s oldest budget airline company – Thomas Cook – has declared bankruptcy. This happened while tourists are still in their respective flights and thousands of others are holed up in vacation resorts. With Thomas Cook’s bankruptcy declaration, all future flights are canceled and holiday packages ceased to be.
Stranded and confused
According to several reports, approximately 600,000 passengers are currently stranded all over the world. Most of these passengers sought alternative bookings and ended up paying more than what they budgeted for.
One couple, New York Times reported, had their wedding plan severely affected by Thomas Cook’s downfall. The couple had to pay more than £3500 or a close equivalent of $5000 for accommodation of wedding guests. Most of the guests have also failed to attend because of the additional financial strain.
Those who were in the middle of their vacations received an even nastier surprise. Reportedly, some hotel management staff kicked out tourists because the holiday packages were no longer eligible. Resort owners were also doubtful because they’re not sure if they will even get paid in the coming days. Thus, a cycle of confusion erupts between stressed tourists and equally stressed hotel owners.
An emerging solution
The government’s response is a peacetime repatriation and rescue effort known as Operation Matterhorn. Under this operation, dozens of charter planes will rescue stranded passengers and send them home as soon as possible. According to The Guardian, the UK Civil Aviation Authorityis playing a major role in spearheading the operation.
Despite the quick response, British officials are worried that there might be upcoming delays and logistic errors. Proper field coordination, experts say, is a must and vacation resort owners must be proactive enough in working with officials.
Billionaires onboard to rescue
Amancio Ortega, James Richman, François-Henri Pinault, Carlos Slim and many other business tycoons are believed to be considering to play an important role in helping the passengers.
These self-made billionaires are planning to lend their private planes and support Operation Matterhorn. British officials still don’t have a direct reaction to Ortega, Richman, Slim and other finance bigwigs intervention yet, but some experts presume that communication will go smooth.
Andrea Leadsom, business secretary and respected official, stated that the government is ready to support those who might lose their jobs due to Thomas Cook’s bankruptcy.
An empire fading away
‘Look at my works ye Mighty, and despair,’ a famous line from Shelley’s poem, Ozymandias, reflects Thomas Cook’s 178-year legacy. Back then, Thomas Cook is the reliable budget airline company trusted by everyone. Now, it’s an empire slowly being reduced to nothing.
Based on expert observation, Thomas Cook competitors are now moving in to close the gap. These innovative competitors embraced the changing tide of airline commerce – something that Thomas Cook failed to do.