Thomas Cook holidaymakers will not be left stranded, British Foreign Secretary says

Tour operator Thomas Cook is seeking £200 million in extra funding as it attempts to prevent a collapse. Picture by Tim Goode/PA Wire

HOLIDAYMAKERS will not be left stranded abroad if tour operator Thomas Cook collapses, the British Foreign Secretary has said.

Dominic Raab assured the firm's worried customers that contingency planning is in place in the event the business cannot be saved.

His comments came as guests at a hotel in Tunisia reported being locked in by security guards, as staff demanded extra money for fear the hotel will not be paid by the holiday company.

And a union leader said employees are working for the firm while not knowing if they have a job or will even get paid for this month.

Thomas Cook Group chief executive Dr Peter Fankhauser yesterday remained tight-lipped as he emerged from a day-long meeting after negotiating with creditors in a final bid to save the firm.

He would not comment on whether a deal had been reached or if the firm would consider approaching the government for a taxpayer-funded bailout.

The travel company is at risk of falling into administration unless it finds £200 million in extra funds.

It was feared the collapse would leave up to 150,000 UK holidaymakers stranded.

But Mr Raab told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show yesterday: "I can reassure people that in the worst case scenario, the contingency planning is there to avoid people being stranded".

Thomas Cook reassured worried customers on Sunday that their flights continue to operate as normal and all their package holidays are Atol-protected.

But many, including wedding parties, were left in limbo, not knowing whether their holidays will still go ahead.

Thomas Cook also said it would not be sending any more tourists to the Les Orangers beach resort in the town of Hammamet, near Tunis, after complaints the hotel was refusing to let guests leave while demanding extra money.

Paul Dunn from Cullybackey, Co Antrim is among the holidaymakers currently at the resort.

"They locked the gates then, a short time after that, stopped our wi-fi," he told BBC NI.

"Then about 200 people started to gather. Two poor reps from Thomas Cook came in to try and sort it. The place was very tense."

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