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CAA repatriates nearly 15,000 people on first day of Operation Matterhorn
As many as 150,000 customers are stranded abroad following the collapse of Thomas Cook

CAA repatriates nearly 15,000 people on first day of Operation Matterhorn

The UK Civil Aviation Authority’s plan to bring Thomas Cook passengers back to the UK completed 64 flights on the first day of operation, returning the first 14,700 people to the country. 

With 13 days remaining and approximately 135,300 passengers still to bring back to the UK, the organisation is working around the clock, in conjunction with the government and the aviation industry, to deliver the flying programme after Thomas Cook ceased trading.

Today, the CAA plans to operate a further 74 flights, with seats for more than 16,800 people to travel back to the UK.

In total Operation Matterhorn, as the rescue effort is known, will operate over 1,000 flights.

Passengers in North American destinations are advised to check the official website for details of how to contact British Airways or Virgin Atlantic.


Both airlines are set to book passengers a new seat on one of their flights.

Richard Moriarty, chief executive of the Civil Aviation Authority, said: “Following the very sad news yesterday morning that Thomas Cook had stopped trading and its aircraft were grounded, we launched at the government’s request our operation to return more than 150,000 people to the UK. 

“A repatriation of this scale and nature is unprecedented and unfortunately there will be some inconvenience and disruption for customers.

“We will do everything we can to minimise this as the operation continues.”

He added: “However, I am pleased to report that on day one we brought home over 95 per cent of people who were originally due back on this day with Thomas Cook; 14,700 people in total. 

“We want people to continue to enjoy their holiday, so we will bring them back to the UK on their original departure day, or very soon thereafter.”

Image: Clara Margais/DPA/PA Images