CAA Concludes Thomas Cook Repatriation

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The U.K. Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has announced that it is wrapping up Operation Matterhorn, the program it put in place to return more than 140,000 people to the country after they were stranded by the liquidation of tourism company Thomas Cook on Sept. 23. According to the CAA, the operation involved 150 aircraft from 50 partners around the world along with a CAA staff of more than 400 people. The final Operation Matterhorn flight—the program’s 746th—is scheduled to arrive at Manchester Airport (MAN) on Monday with 392 passengers onboard.

“Operation Matterhorn will shortly be complete. The largest peacetime repatriation ever required an extraordinary effort from all involved,” said U.K. Civil Aviation Authority Chief Executive Richard Moriarty. “I also want to pay tribute to the many amazing former Thomas Cook employees who worked with us to make this operation a success. It needed an unprecedented team effort from our commercial partners, our friends across government and my colleagues at the CAA.”

The CAA also announced the launch of an online refund claims form for customers affected by the Thomas Cook collapse and covered by the CAA’s Air Travel Organiser’s Licence (ATOL) program. The agency expects at least 360,000 ATOL-protected bookings will need to be refunded, covering trips for more than 800,000 people. The CAA says an additional 24,000 repayments are already in progress.

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