The Civil Aviation Authority has concluded its repatriation of Thomas Cook clients who were overseas when the company went bust and is now turning its attention to refunding customers whose future package holidays have been cancelled.
The final repatriation flight arrived at Manchester Airport shortly after 8.30am today, carrying 392 passengers from Orlando.
It signifies the end of a two-week flying programme, which involved the use of 150 aircraft from 50 partners from around the world. In total, 140,000 people have been repatriated in Operation Matterhorn.
The CAA has now launched the online form to process Thomas Cook ATOL refunds and is expecting more than 360,000 claims for 800,000 people.
The form is available on the UK CAA’s dedicated Thomas Cook website: thomascook.caa.co.uk/refunds.
ATOL protected customers who were abroad can also claim for the cost of replacing the ATOL protected parts of their trip, or out of pocket expenses as a result of delayed flights.
The CAA aims to pay refunds within 60 days of receiving a valid completed claim form.
In addition, over 24,000 direct debit repayments are already in process, with all automatic direct debit refunds on track to be returned to customers from next week.
CAA chairwoman Dame Deirdre Hutton told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme Operation Matterhorn had been a ‘herculean task’.
“I’m deeply relieved it’s over,” she said, adding CAA staff had worked ‘like Trojans’ over the past two weeks.
When asked whether the CAA would be able to claw back some money from Thomas Cook, she said: “I don’t think that there is much left in the carcass of Thomas Cook, apart from the slots.”