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Spain to give €300m to firms hit by Thomas Cook collapse

BayRadio | October 4, 2019

Hoteliers in destinations such as Spain and Turkey were among the companies left out of pocket when the travel firm went bust.

Spain plans to spend €300m (£266m) to support companies affected by the collapse of travel operator Thomas Cook.

The company fell into liquidation last month, leaving more than 150,000 passengers stranded abroad and 360,000 more seeking refunds for future bookings.

It also left hoteliers in key destinations such as Spain and Turkey anxious about money owed to them for holidays.

Some travellers reported being kicked out of hotels or facing demands for cash if they wanted to continue their stays.

On Thursday, Spain’s acting tourism minister Reyes Maroto announced a series of measures including a line of credit to be provided to affected companies.

The plans will be put forward for approval at a cabinet meeting next week.

Turkey’s tourism ministry has also previously said it would provide support for firms that were hit.

In Britain, the government is spending an estimated £100m repatriating customers who were stranded abroad by the collapse.

That public funding is being used to top up a sum of about £150m being provided under the Atol scheme – which is funded by a levy on holiday bookings.

The government decided to use public funds so those not covered by Atol would also be helped – because of the scale of disruption and logistical problems that would be created if it did not step in.

The repatriation, known as Operation Matterhorn, is being coordinated by the Civil Aviation Authority and in the first ten days has brought home 127,000 people. It is due to finish on Sunday.

Hotels which provided holidays for Thomas Cook are also eligible to be reimbursed through Atol to cover the period between the company’s collapse and the end of customers’ holidays.

But many of them are also out of pocket because they were already owed money by the travel operator from before the date of its collapse on 23 September.

Meanwhile, the PA news agency estimated that taxpayers will have to stump up a further £60m to fund unpaid wages, holiday pay and redundancy costs for Thomas Cook’s 9,500 UK staff.

The company’s final collapse came after the government declined to provide £200m to make up a shortfall in funding to avoid it going bust.

However, elsewhere there was a rescue for Thomas Cook’s German airline Condor after a bridging loan was provided by the Berlin government.

Written by BayRadio

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