The Civil Aviation Authority will complete Operation Matterhorn today following the collapse of Thomas Cook.
Since the liquidation of the company on September 23rd, the CAA has repatriated 140,000 passengers in what it brands the largest ever peacetime operation of its kind.
The two-week flying programme, which involved the use of 150 aircraft from 50 partners from around the world, finishes later today, with the final flight arriving at Manchester Airport from Orlando with the last 392 passengers onboard.
Richard Moriarty, chief executive, UK Civil Aviation Authority, said: “Operation Matterhorn will shortly be complete.
“The largest peacetime repatriation ever required an extraordinary effort from all involved.
“I want to thank everyone who has played their part in delivering this enormous undertaking, including the passengers we flew home for bearing with us as we undertook this complex operation.
“I also want to pay tribute to the many amazing former Thomas Cook employees who worked with us to make this operation a success.
“It needed an unprecedented team effort from our commercial partners, our friends across government and my colleagues at the CAA.”
The CAA has also launched its online refund claims form for customers affected by the liquidation of Thomas Cook.
The form is available on the UK CAA’s dedicated Thomas Cook website.
This will be used to refund more than 360,000 bookings for Thomas Cook ATOL protected holidays, covering trips that would have been taken by 800,000 people.
ATOL protected customers who were abroad can also claim for the cost of replacing the ATOL protected parts of their trip, or out of pocket expenses as a result of delayed flights.
The CAA said it aims to pay refunds within 60 days of receiving a valid completed claim form.
In addition, over 24,000 direct debit repayments are already in process, with all automatic direct debit refunds on track to be returned to customers from Monday, October 14th.
Moriarty added: “We know that customers are devastated by the cancellation of their holidays.
“Those who bought a Thomas Cook ATOL protected holiday are entitled to a full refund of all the money they have paid towards the cost of their holiday.
“In addition to this, ATOL protected passengers that were abroad when the company went into liquidation might be able to claim for out of pocket expenses.
“The sheer number of refunds means this will be the largest ever ATOL reimbursement programme.
“The CAA is working around the clock with our partners so that customers receive their refunds as quickly as possible.”