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Thomas Cook: Insolvency

Department for Transport written question – answered on 8th October 2019.

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Photo of Lord Myners Lord Myners Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the cost to the taxpayer of repatriating customers of Thomas Cook to the UK; and what are the significant factors which are likely to determine whether that estimate is an (1) over, or (2) under, estimate.

Photo of Baroness Vere of Norbiton Baroness Vere of Norbiton Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The Operation to repatriate customers of Thomas Cook is modelled on the successful repatriation of passengers after the collapse of Monarch Airways.

The final cost of the Monarch operation to taxpayers was about £50 million and the repatriation effort with Thomas Cook is estimated to be about twice the size and far more complicated as Monarch was an airline based in Europe, whereas Thomas Cook was a global travel group.

This is the biggest peacetime repatriation in UK history, involving more than 150,000 passengers, so any problems or delays could lead to additional costs.

The Government will, however, seek to minimise the impact on the taxpayer by entering into discussions with third parties with a view to recovering some of the costs of this large operation. We will also look to recoup some of the costs from relevant credit and debit card providers and travel insurers.

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