In this project, UKGI supported CAA, DfT Policy, Finance and Corporate Finance Teams and third-party advisors for over seven months to achieve a collective HMG outcome.
The UKGI team engaged in early April 2019 to understand the situation regarding Thomas Cook Group and provide information to the DfT Policy Team so they could formulate their response. After identifying the need to ensure proper governance for the combined response between HMG Stakeholders, DfT and CAA focused on the repatriation of 150,000+ passengers while UKGI and DfT Corporate Finance assisted with options analysis and contingency planning for repatriation over the peak holiday period and options to allow the business to trade until late September when passenger numbers began to tail off.
Attempts to “Keep the Fleet Flying” throughout the insolvency process were unworkable given the safety and operational challenges. In the days before insolvency, UKGI worked with the DfT finance team to fully cost and plan repatriation, liaising with advisers and Treasury.
Thomas Cook was placed into Compulsory Liquidation on 23 September 2019 with the Official Receiver who, working with CAA, leased up to 150 private sector aircraft and crew to repatriate UK passengers. The Head of CAA hailed the repatriation “a success” as the last 329 passengers returned from Orlando to Manchester on 24 October 2019.
UKGI’s central role in this project illustrates how we leverage our expertise in different scenarios to achieve the outcomes of our stakeholders.