In 1841, 500 passengers took a 24-mile round-trip by train from Leicester in central England to the neighbouring town of Loughborough. This was the first excursion organised by a Mr Thomas Cook
178 years later his eponymous company announces it has ceased trading disrupting the travel plans of some 600,000 people from Goa to Gambia to Greece and threatening tens of thousands of jobs worldwide.
This week, Mustafa Alrawi, assistant editor in chief and Kelsey Warner, future editor, are joined by Hayley Skirka to talk about one of the oldest travel companies in the world and its downfall. Andrew Wilks, a regular contributor for The National, speaks to them from Antalya, Turkey. He has been speaking to tourists affected by the Thomas Cook collapse. What lead to the company’s problems? There are accusations of bad management with investigations underway. But the coup attempt in Turkey in 2016 and a Europe-wide heatwave in 2018 impacted the company’s profits along with a growing inability to compete with online travel companies. Now the British government said the return of the firm's 150,000 British customers would be the largest repatriation in its peacetime history.
In this episode:
- Thomas Cook (0m 59s)
- Headlines (26m 21s)