Effort to bring home stranded Thomas Cook travelers underway

British passengers with Thomas Cook wait in long queue at Antalya airport in Antalya, Turkey, Monday Sept. 23, 2019. Hundreds of thousands of travellers were stranded across the world Monday after British tour company Thomas Cook collapsed, immediately halting almost all its flights and hotel services and laying off all its employees. According to reports Monday morning some 21,000 Thomas Cook travellers were stranded in Turkey alone.(IHA via AP)
A Thomas Cook luggage tag lays discarded in the street, outside the Cancun airport in Mexico, Monday, Sept. 23, 2019. British tour company Thomas Cook collapsed early Monday after failing to secure emergency funding, leaving tens of thousands of vacationers stranded abroad. (AP Photo/Victor Ruiz)
British government officials wait for stranded British passengers at the Cancun airport in Mexico, Monday, Sept. 23, 2019. British tour company Thomas Cook collapsed early Monday after failing to secure emergency funding, leaving tens of thousands of vacationers stranded abroad. (AP Photo/Victor Ruiz)

LONDON — The British government has flown home the first 14,500 people stranded by the collapse of tour operator Thomas Cook, and is expected to ramp up the repatriation effort to get all the 150,000 U.K.-based customers home in two weeks.

The Civil Aviation Authority said Tuesday the first batch of people were flown back after Thomas Cook ceased all operations Monday, leaving hundreds of thousands stranded around the world.

It was still unclear how many of the 600,000 total that were traveling with the company as of Sunday would remain stranded. German authorities were still mulling a request for a bridging loan from airline Condor, a subsidiary of Thomas Cook.

The company's Dutch subsidiary said all flights scheduled for Tuesday were scrapped and customers won't be able to use accommodation they booked.

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