British foreign minister Dominic Raab said the government had contingency plans in case talks to rescue travel company Thomas Cook fail, and sought to reassure holidaymakers that they will not end up stuck overseas.
“We would wait to see and hope that it (Thomas Cook) can continue but in any event, as you would expect, we’ve got the contingency planning in place to make sure that in any worst-case scenario we can support all those who might otherwise be stranded,” Raab told the BBC on Sunday.
However, he downplayed the prospect of a government bailout for the firm.
More than 600,000 travelers with Thomas Cook were on edge Sunday wondering if they will be able to get home as one of the world’s oldest and largest travel companies teetered on the edge of collapse.
Equally concerned are British employees of Thomas Cook as 9,000 British jobs at risk as firm looks for £200 million in funds.
Thomas Cook is holding last-ditch talks with key players on Sunday in a bid to avert a collapse that will affect 150,000 UK holidaymakers abroad and put 9,000 British jobs at risk.
While travellers continued to board on Thomas Cook airplanes on Sunday, tourists at the Les Orangers beach resort in the town of Hammamet, near Tunis, said their hotel was refusing to let guests leave while demanding extra money.
The travel company is at risk of falling into administration imminently unless it finds £200m in extra funds. The government and the UK aviation watchdog are preparing to launch a rescue plan codenamed Operation Matterhorn.
Thomas Cook continued to reassure worried customers on Saturday night that their flights continue to operate as normal and all their package holidays are protected under the Atol scheme, which guarantees holidaymakers’ bookings.
General secretary Manuel Cortes called for an urgent meeting with the business secretary, Andrea Leadsom. However, a government financial rescue is thought highly unlikely, notes The Guardian.