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Ken Skates AM, Minister for Economy and Transport

First published:
24 September 2019
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

As of 23 September, Thomas Cook UK PLC and associated UK entities ceased trading and entered Compulsory Liquidation which means all bookings, including flights and holidays have been cancelled. This is extremely disappointing news and I am concerned about those affected. My officials and I are in close liaison with the UK government and other organisations, and have been involved in regular discussions at the COBR committee.  

The UK government and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) have launched a repatriation exercise for those 150,000 UK passengers overseas. All customers currently abroad who are booked to return to the UK over the next 2 weeks will be brought home as close as possible to their booked return date.

Customers are strongly advised not to cut short their holiday or go to the airport without checking the CAA website for information about their return journey. The CAA is also contacting the hotels accommodating Thomas Cook customers who have booked as part of a package, to tell them that the cost of the accommodation will also be covered by the UK government. Customers who have not already left the UK, should not go to the airport, as there will be no further outbound flights operated by Thomas Cook and the CAA website will let customers know how to get their money back.

Advice for customers due to fly from Cardiff with Thomas Cook

  • Customers are advised not to travel to the Airport
  • Please adhere to advice offered by the CAA
  • Flights to Antalya, Dalaman, Enfidha, Larnaca, Palma, Reus, Rhodes, Tenerife, Zakynthos and Arrecife continue to be operated by TUI, while Vueling Airlines also operates a regular service to Palma
  • Customers that were due to fly from Cardiff yesterday and have not pre-booked and paid for car parking in advance can exit the car parks free of charge.
  • Customers that were due to fly from Cardiff yesterday that have pre-booked and paid for car parking in advance should contact the company used to make the booking.

Advice for customers due to return to Cardiff with Thomas Cook

  • The return flight with Thomas Cook will not operate as planned
  • Please adhere to advice offered by the CAA who will provide clear guidance on alternative travel options
  • Customers who arrive back in the UK after their expected return date will have any additional car parking fees waived.

On 1st May 2019, the Welsh Government launched Working Wales, the new all-Wales advice service to provide individualised advice and guidance to support people into employment. We have ensured that Careers Wales, who will deliver Working Wales, have a far greater capacity to provide advice and signpost individuals to the right support, and that they are working closely with Job Centre Plus and all other key partners. Advice and guidance will be provided face-to-face at Careers Wales offices, local job centres and community hubs, as well as over the phone, by means of chat facilities and online.  

Employability support is vital in times of economic uncertainty and, as such, we have extended the provision of the Welsh Government existing programmes to ensure that there is appropriate provision available in the interim period. This will include React, Job Growth Wales, Access, Traineeships and the Employability Skills Programme.

For any businesses impacted by the closure of Thomas Cook at locations across Wales, advice and support is available via Business Wales and can be accessed digitally via and social media channels; the 03000 6 03000 helpline; and a network of offices located across Wales.

My officials are maintaining close contact with Cardiff Airport and the loss of any airline is never welcome. Our ongoing financial planning and economic analysis is modelled on a number of scenarios including airline failure. Whilst yesterday’s news is challenging for Cardiff Airport, the impact is expected to be limited, however the situation is at an early stage and very fluid, so we will continue to work with Cardiff Airport whilst the situation evolves.

For further advice and information:
0300 303 2800 (UK)
+44 01753 330 330 (Overseas)

If anything materially changes then I will update Members further.