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Thomas Cook files for liquidation

Leisure firm Thomas Cook Group and its associated UK companies have filed for compulsory liquidation after discussions on recapitalisation and restructuring fell through.

The company says in a 23 September statement that the discussions "have not resulted in agreement" between its stakeholders and potential investors, leaving the board with "no choice but to take steps to enter into compulsory liquidation with immediate effect."

It made the application to the UK High Court and was granted permission to appoint an official receiver to act as the company's liquidator.

Special managers were appointed to assist the official receiver with the liquidation, the UK government says in a statement. AlixPartners has been assigned to oversee the airline and tour operator companies, and KPMG, the retail division and aircraft maintenance companies.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has also stepped in to conduct repatriation flights between 23 September and 6 October, either with CAA-operated flights or existing flights with other carriers depending on location.

"We have worked exhaustively in the past few days to resolve the outstanding issues on an agreement to secure Thomas Cook’s future for its employees, customers and suppliers. Although a deal had been largely agreed, an additional facility requested in the last few days of negotiations presented a challenge that ultimately proved insurmountable," says Thomas Cook's chief executive Peter Fankhauser.

The fate of Thomas Cook Airlines' affiliated carriers based in Denmark and Spain remains unclear, as their websites are offline at the time of writing. However, its German affiliate Condor posted on its Twitter account stating that it remains in operation, even though its website is offline.

Just days before, Thomas Cook Group said on 20 September that it was in discussions to secure a £200 million ($250 million) standby fund on top of its previous capital injection. Earlier, it reached a provisional agreement covering the "key commercial terms" of a £900 million capital injection, one involving Chinese tourism group Fosun, with plans to implement by October.

Cirium fleets data show that prior to its collapse, Thomas Cook Airlines operated an all-Airbus fleet of 39 A320 family jets and nine A330s.

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