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Where are Thomas Cook travellers stranded? Here's how 17 countries are responding

More than 600,000 passengers have been affected by the bankruptcy of British tour firm Thomas Cook. Here's a breakdown of where some passengers are stranded and what some countries say they are going to do about it.

About 600,000 people affected around world by travel company's bankruptcy

The bankruptcy of British tourism firm Thomas Cook will directly affect roughly 600,000 people around the world, the company said. (Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg)

British travel operator Thomas Cook ran hotels, resorts and airlines ferrying 19 million people a year to locations all around the world. But it went bankrupt over the weekend, and since it currently has 600,000 people abroad, that has forced governments and insurance companies to co-ordinate a huge operation to bring them all home.

Here is a summary of official responses to the Thomas Cook collapse:

United Kingdom

The U.K.'s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and government has lined up flights in order to begin bringing an estimated 150,000 Britain-based customers back home from vacation spots around the globe in what was called the biggest peacetime repatriation effort in the country's history.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was traveling to New York for a meeting at the United Nations, said the government was right not to bail out the company, arguing that doing so could have led other businesses to expect the same treatment. 

France

French organization Entreprises de Voyage said that about 10,000 French tourists could be affected by the bankruptcy of Thomas Cook.

Norway

Norwegian subsidiary Ving said that currently 8,685 Norwegians are on its tours.

The Norwegian Travel Guarantee Fund, an insurance scheme that is compulsory for tour operators, issued a statement saying it will ensure any passengers traveling with Thomas Cook's Norwegian unit will be repatriated.

Denmark

Danish subsidiary Spies said that none of its planes will be leaving, and about 1,400 travelers are affected. A press contact in Thomas Cook said that affected travelers will get their trips refunded.

Finland

Thomas Cook unit Tjäreborg said it has 2,884 passengers traveling. "We are currently doing all we can to arrange return flights for passengers and will provide more information during the day," the company said on its website.

Sweden

The Swedish unit Ving said the number of Swedish passengers currently away came to 16,956. "We are now working intensely to ensure that all affected travelers are flown home with as little disruption as possible," the company said on its website.

Russia

The Russian tour operator subsidiary Intourist expects the bankruptcy of Thomas Cook will have no impact on clients, Russian executive director Sergei Tolchin told Interfax.

Germany

Thomas Cook holiday airline Condor says it will continue its flight operation despite its parent company's insolvency.

"Condor … is continuing operations," the German airline said in a statement.

Thomas Cook says there are roughly 140,000 vacationers currently traveling with its German units.

The Netherlands and Belgium

As of Monday morning, the Netherlands and Belgium units of Thomas Cook were still operating.

Poland

The Polish unit Neckermann said its financial condition is stable and it continues to operate normally, with holidayers unaffected.

Greece

A Greek tourism ministry official told Reuters that about 50,000 tourists are stranded.

"The top priority now is to get them back home," the official said, declining to be named.

Cyprus

Cyprus's deputy minister for tourism said arrangements are underway to ferry back home the 15,000 Thomas Cook travellers — half being U.K. citizens, 40 per cent hailing from Scandinavian countries and the rest being from Germany — on the eastern Mediterranean island nation.

"We will work intensively …. I believe that a large portion of the arrivals we stand to lose will somehow be regulated by the market and other travel agencies," said Savvas Perdios, deputy minister of tourism to Reuters.

The company's clients represent about six per cent of Cyprus's annual tourist arrivals, or around 250,000 people.

Spain

Spanish Airport operator Aena says 46 flights operated by Thomas Cook have been cancelled in Spanish airports. Between 25,000 and 30,000 tourists are affected in the Canary Islands, according to local media.

Turkey

The Turkish Ministry of Tourism said more than 21,000 stranded travellers are now in Turkish hotels.

The ministry tweeted Monday that guest payments were guaranteed by the U.K.'s Air Travel Organiser's Licence. The statement warned there would be legal proceedings against hotels demanding payment from guests or forcing them to leave.

The Hotelier Federation head said about 45,000 tourists from the UK and Europe are in the country.

Egypt

Thomas Cook operator Blue Sky Group said that 25,000 reservations in Egypt booked up to April 2020 had been cancelled. Blue Sky currently has 1,600 tourists in Egypt's Hugharda resort

Tunisia

Tunisian tourism minister Rene Trabelsi told Reuters that 4,500 Thomas Cook customers are still on holiday in Tunisia. Meanwhile, Tunisia's government offered assurances that Thomas Cook clients won't be prevented from leaving the country, following British media reports that the Les Orangers beach resort in Hammamet, near Tunis, initially refused to let Thomas Cook clients leave.

A British vacationer told BBC radio on Sunday that security guards shut the hotel's gates, for fear it wouldn't be paid what it is owed by Thomas Cook.  

But Tunisia's Tourism Ministry, cited by Tunisia's TAP news agency, denied Sunday that British tourists were sequestered at a Hammamet hotel. It said instead that "checkout procedures were delayed for a while at the request of the hotel keeper." 

It said the British group later checked out and flew home "after being given apologies for the delay." 

Gambia

Gambian Tourism Minister Hamat Bah told The Associated Press the government convened an emergency meeting to deal with Thomas Cook's collapse. People in the tiny West African coastal nation say the shutdown could have a devastating impact on their tourism, which contributes more than 30 per cent of GDP.

 

With files from The Associated Press