ITAA saddened to hear of Thomas Cook closure The well-known travel group ceased operations today after 178 years in business.

23 September 2019

TRAINING DATE: 08/08/2019

Dublin 23 September 2019   The ITAA were saddened this morning to hear of the closure of long-running British travel firm Thomas Cook.


Pat Dawson, CEO of the ITAA, said, “We wish to extend our sympathies to our fellow travel trade colleagues, the employees of Thomas Cook in Northern Ireland and the UK.”


An institution of the travel industry, Thomas Cook was founded in 1841, and is considered to be the world’s oldest travel company. Unfortunately, the company was forced to enter compulsory liquidation due to rising debts, leaving its 21,000 employees uncertain of their future.


The ITAA believes that the number of people from the Republic of Ireland affected by the collapse of the company is minimal, as Thomas Cook withdrew from the Irish market some years ago. Any bookings made by Irish holiday makers would have been made directly through the company, and would involve flying through the United Kingdom. The company operated eight routes and thirteen flights from Belfast, with a small number of people from the south of the border travelling on these flights.


The impact will be far greater on the Northern Irish market. Northern Irish holidaymakers are among the 150,000 stranded abroad due to the company’s insolvency, which has led to what has been described as “the biggest ever peacetime repatriation”.


The Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR) in Ireland is continuing to monitor the situation. Thomas Cook was covered by the UK ATOL travel protection scheme. In the event that a booking was not covered by ATOL, customers have been advised to contact their card issuer, bank or travel insurer for advice about the possibility of claiming a refund.