Iceland Volcano Ash - Thomas Cook Rescue Programme Brings Package Holidaymakers Back Home

By Thomas Cook, PRNE
Monday, April 19, 2010

PETERBOROUGH, England, April 20, 2010 - With the latest news that airspace will remain open around Glasgow and
Newcastle until midnight tonight, Tuesday 20th April, three Thomas Cook
Airlines rescue flights have departed from Glasgow to pick up passengers from
Cancun (Mexico) Heraklion (Crete) and Sharm El Sheikh (Egypt) and one from
Newcastle to pick up holidaymakers in Lanzarote.

Providing airspace remains open, these flights will all return tonight
along with 10 other Thomas Cook Airlines flights from short and mid-haul
destinations, repatriating around 2,500 passengers in total.

Manny Fontenla-Novoa, Group CEO for Thomas Cook ( Group plc, said; "As the UK airspace restrictions
have now been lifted for a short time over Glasgow and Newcastle Airports,
our teams overseas and in the UK are all hands on deck to get as many people
back to the UK as possible during this small window.

"Elsewhere, we have been working around the clock with our network of
global partners to find alternative means of getting our customers home, and
keep customers in the UK informed of the latest developments."

Currently the travel company has more than 50,000 British holidaymakers
stranded overseas, but has managed to bring around 2,500 people home so far.

The rescue programme continues, details as of 14:45 on Tuesday 20th

    - In partnership with Celebrity Cruises, 1,000 Thomas Cook customers will
      be transported back to Southampton on the new Celebrity Eclipse which
      will depart from Bilbao, Spain arriving back in the UK on Friday 23rd

    - Thomas Cook Airlines has been running a series of rescue flights for
      holidaymakers currently stranded in the long-haul destinations of
      Mexico, Dominican Republic and Cuba. These customers have been brought
      back into Portugal and Spain, so that when airspace fully re-opens it
      will be quicker and easier to bring them back into the UK. From there,
      these holidaymakers can also be brought back over land if such the
      delays continue.

    - Arrangements also continue to bring those customers in short haul
      destinations back over land and yesterday 500 people were brought back
      from Italy and Spain via coach and ferry and a further 250 passengers
      will also come back via this mode of transport today. A dedicated team
      is accompanying customers for the return journey to ensure they have
      the necessary support and assistance.

For more information please visit

About Thomas Cook UK & Ireland

Thomas Cook UK & Ireland is the second largest leisure travel group in
the UK with around 19,000 employees. The company has a network of more than
800 high street stores, leading websites, and some of the world's favourite
travel brands providing all inclusive holidays ( deals.

Thomas Cook UK & Ireland is part of Thomas Cook Group plc. For more
information please visit

Media contact details: Miss Parmjit Dhillon, Senior PR Manager, +44(0)1733-417272, pressoffice at

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