British tourists leave Turkey amid Thomas Cook collapse

ANKARA

British tourists are leaving Turkey’s Mediterranean resort city Antalya and other coastal provinces following the collapse of the U.K. tour operator Thomas Cook, the British Embassy in Turkey said on Wednesday.

“Our teams have been at Antalya, Dalaman, Bodrum and Izmir airports since Monday, working closely with the Turkish airport and tourism authorities to ensure the return of all Thomas Cook passengers to the U.K.” the embassy said on Twitter.

“As of this morning, almost 8,000 people on 31 flights have been returned,” it added.

Jennifer Anderson, deputy head of mission at the British Embassy in Turkey, thanked Turkish authorities for their help.

“Our thoughts are with all those affected. Our thanks to the Turkish authorities for all their assistance,” she wrote on Twitter.

“Since the early hours of Monday morning British Embassy in Turkey has been working to support the return of all Thomas Cook passengers and holidaymakers to the U.K.” she added.

Also, the Antalya Governorate said in a statement that some 3,000 tourists left the holiday resort with 22 flights over the last two days. 

Thomas Cook

The major British holiday operator and airline has “ceased trading with immediate effect,” British authorities announced on Monday morning.

The group’s four airlines will be grounded and its 12,000 employees in 16 countries as well 9,000 in the U.K., are expected to be losing their jobs due to insolvency.

The collapse of the iconic 178-year-old British tour operator came due to financial difficulties and failure to secure a deal of around £1.1 billion ($1.37 billion).

All bookings by the 178-year-old company — including flights and holidays — were canceled, they said.

Around 150,000 people are expected to be affected by the canceled flights.

*Levent Kisi in Antalya contributed to this story
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