Planes put on standby to rescue travellers as talks continue for last-minute bailout of Thomas Cook

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An emergency fleet of airlines is on standby to rescue 150,000 UK holidaymakers as talks continue between Thomas Cook and the government over a last-minute bailout.

Sources described the negotiations to save the UK’s oldest travel agent as “complex” and “pressured” as attempts to find £200m in extra funds to prevent its collapse appeared increasingly fruitless.

It is believed a number of airlines have been contacted in case they are required to bring home around 150,000 British Thomas Cook customers currently abroad if talks with the government fail to prevent the 178-year-old company falling into administration.

Thomas Cook is to hold crisis talks in a final bid to secure a rescue deal.

The meeting with its biggest shareholder and creditors is understood to be scheduled for Sunday morning at City law firm Slaughter & May.

The tour operator could fall into administration within days unless it finds £200m in extra funds.

It comes as holidaymakers staying at a hotel in Tunisia owed money by Thomas Cook were reportedly prevented from leaving the resort until it was paid.

Guests at the Les Orangers beach resort in the town of Hammamet, near Tunis, said the hotel was refusing to let them leave because of concerns about Thomas Cook’s future.

Via The Guardian/BBC

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