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Thomas Cook check-in desks at London Gatwick Airport. Photo: Rick Findler/PA Images via Getty Images

Thomas Cook, the world's oldest travel firm, confirmed in a statement early Monday that it's gone into administration, immediately ceasing trading and operations.

Why it matters: Per the Financial Times, after weekend rescue package talks between Thomas Cook and the British government, lenders and shareholders broke down, the company's collapse left 150,000 travelers stranded abroad — as the Civil Aviation Authority puts together the "biggest emergency repatriation in peacetime."

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

What's happening: The collapse means 21,000 employees in 16 countries are set to lose their jobs, including 9,000 people in the United Kingdom, AP reports.

  • More than 600,000 travel bookings have been canceled, per AP, which notes an estimated 1 million future vacationers will be affected by booking cancelations. However, many should get refunds under a government travel insurance plan.
  • British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said authorities had hired charter planes to fly customers back free of charge, per the BBC.

What they're saying: Thomas Cook CEO Peter Fankhauser said in the company's statement, "It is a matter of profound regret to me and the rest of the board that we were not successful" in negotiating a deal.

  • Schapps defended deciding against giving the 178-year-old British company a requested bail-out, telling the BBC it was a poor candidate for survival because of its substantial debts and focus on main street.

Background: Thomas Cook reported a first half-loss of 1.4 billion pounds ($1.7 billion)  earlier this year. The company blamed factors including a prolonged heatwave in 2018 and Brexit uncertainty.

  • It said Friday it needed 200 million pounds ($250 million) to avoid financial collapse, AP notes.
  • Thomas Cook's largest shareholder, the Chinese company Fosun, had planned to contribute 450 million pounds ($559) in a rescue deal, but the plan fell through, per the FT.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

4 hours ago - Health

Fauci: Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in U.S.

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, cautioned on Sunday that the COVID-19 Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in the United States.

Driving the news: Fauci, Biden's chief medical adviser, told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" that U.S. officials will meet with colleagues from South Africa later on Sunday to try to determine the severity of the cases, as countries scramble to learn more about the variant.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Dems fear supply-chain blame

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As supply-chain kinks drive up prices and disrupt holiday shopping, Democrats are scrambling to show action and deflect blame.

Why it matters: With their party controlling both the White House and Capitol, vulnerable Democrats worry supply-chain snafus will hurt them in next year's midterms.

6 hours ago - World

Scoop: Germany urges Congress not to sanction Putin’s pipeline

Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

The German government has urged members of Congress not to sanction the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, arguing that doing so will "weaken" U.S. credibility and "ultimately damage transatlantic unity," according to documents obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: At a time when roughly 100,000 Russian troops are massing at its border, Ukraine views Nord Stream 2 as an existential threat to its security. The pipeline would circumvent Ukrainian transit infrastructure and deliver Russian gas directly to Germany, eliminating one of the last deterrents Ukraine has against an invasion.

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