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Taxpayers face huge bill following Thomas Cook collapse

Taxpayers face huge bill following Thomas Cook collapse

Taxpayers face a bill of at least £156 million for the response to the collapse of Thomas Cook.

According to a report from the National Audit Office, the government will be expected to pay £83 million towards the cost of getting customers back home, as well as £58 million in redundancy and related payments.

Other costs include at least £15 million for liquidating the business.

However, the cost the final is not yet known.

The tour operator collapsed last September left 9,000 staff out of work and 150,000 holidaymakers stranded.


Following the shutdown , the department for transport instructed the Civil Aviation Authority to repatriate all 150,000 Thomas Cook customers who were stranded overseas.

This included roughly 83,000 who had not booked a trip with ATOL protection, which meant they were not automatically entitled to be flown home free of charge.

The department for transport is reimbursing the cost of repatriating those passengers.

A department for transport spokesperson said: “Due to the unprecedented scale of the operation, other airlines did not have enough capacity to repatriate those abroad.

“Without this effort, stranded passengers could not be guaranteed a safe journey home, causing stress and disruption to families, which would have had a knock-on effect on the wider economy with so many employees abroad.”

A total of 746 flights from 54 airports were involved in the repatriation effort, known as Operation Matterhorn.

More Information

See the full report from the National Audit Office here.