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  1. ITV Report

Thomas Cook remains tight-lipped following potential rescue meeting

Thomas Cook is remaining tight-lipped following a day-long meeting negotiating with creditors in a final bid to secure a rescue package to keep the company afloat.

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

On Sunday, the world's oldest travel operator met with the firm’s biggest shareholder along with creditors in a final bid to piece together a rescue deal.

As he left the meeting, Chief Executive Dr Peter Fankhauser did not comment on what had been discussed.

The travel operator's boss walked out of the service exit of law firm Latham & Watkins, in Bishopsgate, central London, surrounded by colleagues after the meeting ran from 9am until shortly before 5.30pm.

Dr Fankhauser did not answer questions when he was asked whether Thomas Cook and their creditors had reached a deal.

He was also asked whether the company would consider approaching the government for a taxpayer-funded bailout or whether he had anything to say to Thomas Cook's customers but again refused to comment.

The location of the meeting was changed at the last minute after reports leaked out last night that it would take place at the nearby law firm Slaughter & May.

Dominic Raab said there are contingency plans. Credit: PA

It had been feared that if the company did collapse, up to 150,000 UK holidaymakers could be left stranded

However, speaking earlier on Sunday, the Foreign Secretary said this would not happened.

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

The 45-year-old told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show that the Government had "got all the contingency planning to make sure no one will be stranded.

“I don’t want to give all the details of it because it depends on the nature of how people are out there, whether they have got a package holiday or whether they just paid for the flights and sorted out something separately.”

He added: “But 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.

People will not be stranded, the Foreign Secretary has promised. Credit: Gary Seale

Mr Raab's comments came after guests at a hotel in Tunisia reported being locked in by security guards as staff demand extra money in fear it will not be paid by the holiday company.

However, tourists at the Les Orangers beach resort in the town of Hammamet, near Tunis, said that on Saturday their hotel refused to let guests leave while demanding extra money.

Ryan Farmer, from Leicestershire, told BBC Radio Five’s Stephen Nolan the hotel had on Saturday afternoon summoned all guests who were due to leave to go to reception “to pay additional fees, obviously because of the situation with Thomas Cook”.

With many tourists refusing to pay on the grounds they had already paid Thomas Cook, security guards were keeping the hotel’s gates shut, refusing to allow guests out, or to let new visitors enter.

“We can’t leave the hotel. I’d describe it as exactly the same as being held hostage,” Mr Farmer said.

Guests have reported being locked in a resort in Tunisia. Credit: Gary Seale

The hotel's Wi-Fi was also turned off for a short period, with some customer's alleging this was so that they could not complain about what was happening.

However, by Sunday, the hotel was "back to normal", a guest staying at Les Orangers told ITV News.

She added that staff were "being really nice" and that two buses of holidaymakers had left the resort on Sunday "after some discussions with Thomas Cook and the government".

The Transport Salaried Staffs Association, which represents workers at the company, said the Government should be ready to assist with “real financial support”.

General secretary Manuel Cortes called for an urgent meeting with Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom.

The company needs to find £200 million. Credit: PA

He said in a letter: “It is incumbent upon the Government to act if required and save this iconic cornerstone of the British high street and the thousands of jobs that go with it.”

Meanwhile Brian Strutton, general secretary of the British Airline Pilots Association, said lessons had not been learned from the collapse of Monarch Airlines in 2017.

"Thomas Cook is at the last chance saloon today and decisions about staff and passengers are being taken in secret.

"It's a much bigger scale than Monarch.

"There is a real risk that if the worst comes to the worst proper arrangements may not be in place for the repatriation programme and staff are still working while not knowing if they have a job or will even get paid for this month," he said.

He continued that the Government did not act on its own review which followed the Monarch collapse, adding: "This is a mess that could have been avoided. Ministers need to step forward and take responsibility for the sake of passengers and staff."

Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long Bailey urged the Government to bailout the struggling airline.

“The Government faces a simple choice between a £200 million Government cash injection to save the company now versus a £600 million bill to repatriate UK holidaymakers."

It is understood that Thomas Cook has approached the Government in an attempt to plug a gap in its funding.

A Government spokesman said: “We recognise it’s a worrying time for holidaymakers and employees.

“The financial circumstances of individual businesses are a commercial matter, but the Government and the Civil Aviation Authority are monitoring the situation closely.”