Operation Matterhorn returns 76,000 in five days

  • UK Civil Aviation Authority launched largest peacetime repatriation 'Operation Matterhorn' on 23 September 2019 to bring more than 150,000 people back to the UK
  • 95% of passengers returning on original day of return flight
  • Yesterday, 68 flights operated to bring back around 15,000 passengers
  • 76,000 flown back to UK in the first five days of the operation, over half of the total number to be repatriated
  • 76 flights are scheduled to operate today, 28 September, returning another 16,700 people
  • Operation Matterhorn continues until Sunday 6 October with more than 1,000 flights planned in total

More than half of the Thomas Cook passengers abroad at the time the company ceased trading have now returned to the UK as part of Operation Matterhorn. The operation, that runs until Sunday 6 October, has successfully returned around 76,000 people so far and plans to operate another 76 flights on Saturday. 

The UK Civil Aviation Authority is now processing hundreds of payments to hotels hosting Thomas Cook customers so that passengers can continue to enjoy their holidays. Any holidaymakers who have concerns about their accommodation should contact the Civil Aviation Authority call centre on +44 1753 330330.

Richard Moriarty, Chief Executive at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said: “After five days, Operation Matterhorn has now flown home over half of the 150,000 customers who were abroad at the time Thomas Cook stopped trading. We aim to bring home the rest at the end of their holiday. An operation of this scale and complexity will inevitably cause some inconvenience and disruption and I would like to thank holidaymakers for bearing with us as we work around the clock to bring them back.

“I am very grateful for the assistance provided by all of our aviation, train, coach and many other partners who are helping us to deliver the biggest ever peacetime repatriation operation.”

Thomas Cook customers are reminded to check the dedicated website for further information: thomascook.caa.co.uk

Flying programme information:

 Statistics   Day 5 - 27/09/19   Totals to date 
 Flights completed  68  343
 Passengers returning in the UK   15,000   76,121

The number of passengers reported is based on Thomas Cook booking data. It is likely that some passengers booked on these flights will choose to make alternative arrangements and therefore not fly, thus reducing the actual number of people who travel on our aircraft. The exact numbers will not be known until the end of the programme.