The 178 years old British travel firm Thomas Cook collapsed on Monday

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It is the world’s oldest travel firm that started in 1841 with hotels, resorts and airlines for 19 million people a year in 16 countries. The countries where the largest numbers of tourists are stranded are Spain, Turkey, Tunisia and Greece. All Thomas Cook flights were immediately canceled following the announcement of the company’s shutdown. “I would like to apologise to our millions of customers, and thousands of employees, suppliers and partners who have supported us for many years,” Chief Executive Peter Fankhauser said in a statement released early on Monday morning. The fact will affect especially on the Greek island of Crete.

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Some tourists from the UK who are being left without assistance will receive help from the ATOL, a UK financial protection scheme that safeguards most package holidays sold by travel businesses based in the UK. Some however will have to foot the hotel bill themselves. Thomas Cook pilots and all staff will have big financial problems. The pilots need to find alternative jobs in other airlines. The UK Government has defended its decision not to save Thomas Cook from liquidation. “It is obviously a very competitive market, and it isn’t the Government’s role to prop up companies when this sort of issue arises. Our decision was that injecting cash into the situation was not going to make it any better,” a spokeswoman said.

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