Thomas Cook

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:03 pm on 25th September 2019.

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Photo of Grant Shapps Grant Shapps The Secretary of State for Transport 2:03 pm, 25th September 2019

The CAA holds a large part of the duty of ensuring the sustainability of an airline. In fact, it would have been responsible for renewing the airline’s licence at the beginning of October, so it was keeping a close eye on things. The Department will—latterly, as things got much more serious, particularly through the later profit warnings—have become increasingly involved. I was made aware at some point after I joined the Department of the difficulties that the company may have been in. Of course, everyone was hoping that the airline would be rescued, and there were very serious and full talks in place to rescue it. The problem for anyone commenting on such things is that they can precipitate exactly the thing they are trying to avoid.