Scottish Thomas Cook workers offered PACE support
The Scottish Government is offering support to former Thomas Cook employees through its redundancy support program, after the company collapsed in the early hours of Monday morning.
The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announced on Monday that Thomas Cook had “ceased trading with immediate effect”, which meant “all Thomas Cook bookings, including flights and holidays, have now been cancelled”.
The announcement left 150,000 British customers stranded abroad and 9,000 UK staff without jobs.
On Monday afternoon, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said: “We have already made the offer of support for affected employees in Scotland through our Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) initiative.”
“We are saddened by the collapse of Thomas Cook which has a long history with many jobs in Scotland, the UK and overseas,” he said.
“This will be a very worrying time for employees in Scotland, and Scottish staff based overseas, and we recognise these job losses will have a disproportionate impact on women.
“We are working closely with the UK Government and the CAA as the situation progresses and the CAA is providing detailed information for customers on their website, via a call centre and through representatives in the resorts and airports.”
CAA said the UK Government had asked it to launch a repatriation programme over the next two weeks, from Monday 23 September to Sunday 6 October “to bring Thomas Cook customers back to the UK”.
But it said “due to the significant scale of the situation, some disruption is inevitable”.
“Due to the unprecedented number of UK customers currently overseas who are affected by the situation, the Civil Aviation Authority has secured a fleet of aircraft from around the world to bring passengers back to the UK with return flights,” CAA said.
“The Civil Aviation Authority has launched a special website, thomascook.caa.co.uk, where affected customers can find details and information on repatriation flights, as well as advice on accommodation for both ATOL and non-ATOL customers.”
CAA encouraged passengers already overseas not to travel to the airport “until their flight back to the UK has been confirmed on the dedicated website”. Customers in the UK, but yet to travel, have been advised not to go to the airport “as all flights leaving the UK have been cancelled”.