Thomas Cook, the 178-year-old travel giant of the UK, is set to go bust leaving about 1,80,000 tourists in the lurch and threatening 9,000 jobs.

The holiday firm has been struggling to survive and now is looking for a possible government bailout.

The operator said to the AFP that it needed USD 250 million — in addition to the 900-million pounds rescue deal secured last month — or else face administration, which could leave thousands of holidaymakers stranded and require Britain’s largest repatriation since World War II.

According to a Guardian report, a Tunisia hotel has barricaded Thomas Cook tourists apprehending that the firm would not be able to pay bills.

Flights were pulled from booking websites at around 10 pm on Sunday after the all-day talks failed to produce a lifeline to keep the firm afloat.

In an attempt to assuage anxious tourists, Thomas Cook also attempted reassured that their flights would continue to operate as normal and that all their package holidays are protected under the Atol scheme, which guarantees the bookings of package holidaymakers. The scheme covers holiday accommodation as well as return flights if customers are abroad at the time of a financial collapse. Future bookings are also protected.

 

Thomas Cook India, however, will not be affected by the financial collapse of Thomas Cook UK. Issuing a statement, Thomas Cook India has clarified, “With the recent developments relating to the iconic British travel company, Thomas Cook PLC, being reported in the media, it is imperative to highlight that Thomas Cook India Group is a completely different entity since August 2012 when it was acquired by Fairfax Financial Holdings (Fairfax).”