Operation Matterhorn, the largest repatriation action in peacetime

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I think everyone has heard of bankrupt Thomas Cook UK. As a result of the bankruptcy, over 600 000 tourists are affected, of which 150 000 are from the UK. The latter are protected by the ATOL scheme.

The British Government together with the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will repatriate all tourists in the UK through an operation called "Matterhorn". Statistically speaking, this will be the largest repatriation in the world, in peacetime, after the Second World War.

For this operation, 51 was leased from airplanes from various airlines and charters, including Airbus A380 from Malaysia Airlines. It was a challenge for the British authorities to find available planes. The 737 MAX crisis strikes the single-aisle aircraft industry.

51 aircraft and 1043 flights for repatriation of British tourists

In 2017, following the bankruptcy of Monarch Airlines, about 85 000 were repatriated by tourists. But then the required aircraft were found much faster, mostly being rented from Qatar Airways.

Returning to 2019, the 51 chartered aircraft will operate 1043 flights to the UK, departing from 55 of airports around the world. The operation will last 2 weeks (23 September - 6 October) and will involve long-haul flights from the Caribbean and Asia.

During this time, tourists already on vacation were asked not to stop their stay or to go to the airport until the end of the holiday. All tourists will be repatriated at the end of the stay, gradually. For more information, CAA has launched a dedicated site https://thomascook.caa.co.uk/.

The whole Matterhorn operation will cost 100 millions of pounds. Plus other damages for canceled tour packages. Wouldn't the 200 million pay better to avoid the bankruptcy of Thomas Cook?

In relation to the other passengers, from other countries, the British authorities are not answering. The governments of the respective countries will handle the repatriation of citizens. We mention that there are 140 000 of affected German tourists, 10 000 of French tourists and many others from 16 countries.

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