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Last Updated : Sep 24, 2019 09:25 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Thomas Cook collapse brings down the curtains on its airline

Thomas Cook Airlines used to be the preferred carrier for Britishers thronging the sunny beaches of Goa looking to avoid the harsh winters there


The collapse of Thomas Cook also brings down the curtains on its airline - Thomas Cook Airlines.

The airline used to be the preferred carrier for Britishers thronging the sunny beaches of Goa looking to avoid the harsh winters there. Thomas Cook Airlines used to operate flights from London's Gatwick and Manchester airports to Goa.

But now it has joined an already long list of airlines that have been grounded. In 2019 alone, more than a dozen airlines have ceased operations across the world. Jet Airways has just about managed to avoid the list, till now.

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"The UK business has ceased trading with immediate effect and all future flights and holidays are cancelled," a statement on its website said, adding: "A dedicated support service is being provided by the Civil Aviation Authority to assist customers currently overseas and those in the UK with future bookings."

The impact

The immediate impact will be on passengers and local tourist hotspots. While it is not clear yet how many tourists bound for Goa had booked on the airline, the local tourism economy may take a hit.

A report by IANS  quoted chief of a local tourism body as saying that Thomas Cook Airlines would bring in 2,000 tourists to Goa every week during the holiday season. In total, nearly 1.5 lakh tourists from Britain visited Goa last year.

For the airline itself, the immediate question will be about the fate of its stranded customers across the globe, the future of its employees, and also what happens to its fleet. The airline has a fleet of 34 aircraft, all of them will now be parked at airports where they are currently located.

According to reports, Thomas Cook Airlines owns just three of these aircraft. The rest have been leased.

Like it happened in the case of Jet Airways, the lessors will now seek to de-register these aircraft so that they can lease the planes again to other airlines.

It may be not that simple though. Some of these airports, where the planes are parked, may try to take possession of these aircraft to recover unpaid payments from Thomas Cook Airlines.

Airlines graveyard

An aviation blog called Allplane has complied a list of airlines that have closed down. The 2019 list, which is still open, already has more than a dozen names. Thomas Cook Airlines is the latest entrant.

One of them -- US-based California Pacific -- lasted just two months before suspending operations in January. It is said to be trying to restart operations.

On the other hand, Tajik Air had been flying for nearly 90 years before it was grounded due to financial crunch. The national carrier of Tajikistan suffered because of a slowdown in the local economy. It operated its last flight on January 14.

It must be noted that Thomas Cook (India) ownership is different from its parent Thomas Cook Group and is not connected to the bankruptcy

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First Published on Sep 24, 2019 03:25 pm
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