British travel group Thomas Cook is trying to escape bankruptcy

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — British travel and tourism group Thomas Cook, which will try to escape a resounding bankruptcy on Sunday, began a countdown at a meeting of shareholders and financiers ahead of a board meeting in the afternoon to determine the fate of the group.

The group seeks to avoid costly repatriation and compensation for hundreds of thousands of travelers.

A source close to the dossier told AFP that the group was seeking to raise 200 million pounds (227 million euros) additional to avoid the collapse and return of the tourists, who are about 600 thousand in the world.

The source said the option of new private sector investors appeared unlikely on Saturday morning, but discussions continued throughout the day, and a meeting between shareholders and creditors was added to the program of work at 8 pm GMT on Sunday.

Thomas Cook’s board will meet on Sunday afternoon. “We will know by tomorrow whether an agreement has been reached,” the source confirmed, and whether that leader in the field of tourism will survive.

He explained that the travel company is also trying to convince the government to infuse the funds needed by the group, pointing out that talks took place on Saturday in this regard as well.

The TSSI union, which represents tourism workers, wrote on Saturday to British Minister of Companies and Industry Andrea Ledesom, calling for an “emergency meeting” and urging her to “be prepared to help Thomas Cook with real financial support.”

“The company must be rescued at all costs. No serious British government should allow this number of jobs to be lost,” union secretary-general Manuel Curtis said in a statement.

Thomas Cook employs 22,000 people, including 9,000 in the UK.

If it collapses, Thomas Cook will have to organize immediately the return of 600,000 tourists worldwide, including 150,000 British tourists, the largest such operation since World War II.

Thomas Cook, the travel agency and airline, records a turnover of about 10 billion pounds a year (11.32 billion euros).

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