Thomas Cook collapses leaving 150,000 British tourists stranded overseas

Collapse of world's oldest holiday company triggers Britain's largest repatriation effort in history.

UK tour operator Thomas Cook collapsed in the early hours of 23 September, stranding an estimated 150,000 British holidaymakers overseas.

“Thomas Cook Group, including the UK tour operator and airline, has ceased trading with immediate effect,” the civil aviation authority announced. “All Thomas Cook bookings, including flights and holidays, have now been cancelled.”

The failure of the historic company, which was established 178 years ago and pioneered package holidays, leaves 9,000 British jobs at risk.

It has also triggered Britain's largest repatriation effort in history as the UK scrambles to bring home 150,000 British holidaymakers between 23 September and 6 October.

The British embassy in Rome has issued travel advice for those in Italy affected by the announcement, directing them to the Thomas Cook website for the latest updates.