This is what would happen if Thomas Cook collapsed

A Thomas Cook plane (Tim Goode / PA Wire).
A Thomas Cook plane (Tim Goode / PA Wire).
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Tour operator Thomas Cook has confirmed that it is seeking £200 million in extra funding as it attempts to prevent a collapse.

The company said it is in talks with stakeholders, including leading shareholder Chinese firm Fosun, to bridge the funding gap to stave off entering administration.

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In an update to the market, it said the fundraiser is expected to significantly dilute existing shareholders' stakes in the firm, with "significant risk of no recovery".

Were the company to go under, an estimated 180,000 people could be stranded abroad, while the firm employs 22,000 staff around the world, including 9,000 in the UK.

The travel firm has suffered recently as a result of mounting debts, reporting a £1.2 billion net debt in its half-year results in May.

It has also been hit hard by an influx of online competitors which has resulted in oversupply, forcing tour operators to cut prices.

The 178-year-old firm could go bust by Sunday, company insiders have allegedly told the Daily Mail.

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What would happen if the company collapsed?

Thomas Cook is one of the world's largest travel companies

It was formed by a cabinet maker of the same name.

Mr Cook organised his first trip in 1841, taking around 500 supporters of the temperance movement on a day trip by train from Leicester to Loughborough.

His first commercial venture was an outing to Liverpool in 1845, before expanding to overseas trips in 1855.

If Thomas Cook does collapse, the Civil Aviation Authority is expected to launch a major repatriation operation to fly home UK holidaymakers stranded abroad.

This will involve hiring aircraft at a cost to taxpayers of millions of pounds.

When Monarch went bust in October 2017, the Government spent £60 million getting passengers home.

Customers who booked a package holiday through Thomas Cook will be financially protected through the Atol scheme.

That means those already abroad will be able to continue with their holiday and an alternative flight home will be organised for them.

Those with future bookings will be offered a full refund.

Anyone who bought a flight-only deal through Thomas Cook is likely to have to contact their credit or debit card provider in a bid to get their money back.