The list of airline bankruptcies increased on Monday with Thomas Cook. The world’s oldest travel company, founded in 1841, it was part of a business model that includes complete package deals with accommodation, flights and other services provided by itself.

As a result, the impact of the company’s closure is impressive: nearly 600,000 customers lost their travel packages to the shutdown of their airline, which operated 34 jets between A320 models. and A330.

The situation has prompted UK Prime Minister Boris Johson to undertake the largest peacetime repatriation effort to bring about 150,000 British citizens back within the next two weeks.

Thomas Cook has been struggling for a long time, but the situation has worsened in recent years when the company sold about 3 million travel packages just to pay interest on its $ 2.5 billion debt.

The company was trying to renegotiate its debts and be recapitalized by its Chinese shareholders, but was unsuccessful. With bankruptcy, more than 20,000 employees will lose their jobs.

End of the line

The bankruptcy of Thomas Cook is one of the most emblematic cases of companies in the sector that have ceased to operate, including India’s Jet Airways, France’s Aigle Azur (and can still be saved) and Avianca Brasil, officially OceanAir.

There is great concern about the financial health of some companies in the industry, especially low-cost companies whose tight profit margins often leave them in dire straits in the face of increased competition and fluctuating fuel costs and aircraft leasing, for example. But companies like Thomas Cook that offer a closed package have also caught the eye – by embracing multiple activities in one deal, they end up losing efficiency.

In the specific case of the British company, also weighed competition from online tools and even the imminence of Brexit, which made many customers postpone their holiday plans until the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union became clearer. Something so far no one can say what will happen.

This year has been the scene of several airline collapses (Pedro Aragão)