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Last updateFri, 11 Oct 2019 1pm

Blow to Cancun as big UK travel group goes bust

The Riviera Maya region of Mexico will be seriously impacted by the collapse of Thomas Cook, the world’s oldest travel firm, industry specialists and government officials say.

The British company went into liquidation Tuesday after failing to secure a deal with creditors or a government bailout.

More tourists fly to Cancun each year from Great Britain than from any other European nation – most of them via Thomas Cook.    

Thomas Cook Airlines, as well as Condor, a German airline in which Thomas Cook has a 49-percent stake, operates various weekly flights – mostly full of vacationers – to Cancun from U.K. and German airports.

Unlike its British counterpart, the German government is weighing up offering Condor a bridging loan to keep operating, according to the BBC.

José Chapur Zahoul, director general del Grupo Palace Resorts, told the EFE news agency that the collapse of Thomas Cook will “hit the region hard.”

Quintana Roo tourism officials said it will “take time’ for the area to recover from the blow, and that many Riviera Maya firms that deal with Thomas Cook can expect lengthy delays in reimbursement of any money owed them.

Around 600,000 customers stranded abroad by the travel group’s collapse will require assistance from governments or insurance companies to bring them home.   

According to local reports, approximately 400 British holiday makers were stranded in Cancun this week. British authorities are working with the Hotel Association of the Riviera Maya and the Civil Aviation Authority to get them home.

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