Fourteen days after Thomas Cook Group was declared bankrupt, leaving over 140,000 holidaymakers stranded abroad, the U.K.s Civil Aviation Authority announced on Monday, October 7, that a flight from Orlando, Florida, carrying 392 passengers and which landed at Manchester Airport at 8.31 a.m. local time, marked the completion of two-week-long Operation Matterhorn.
Involving 150 aircraft from 50 worldwide partners, this was the largest repatriation exercise since the evacuation of the beaches at Dunkirk during World War II. This achievement “required an extraordinary effort from all involved,” CAA chief executive Richard Moriarty said in a statement. He also paid tribute “to the many amazing former Thomas Cook employees” who helped to make the operation successful. “It needed an unprecedented team effort from our commercial partners, our friends across government and my colleagues at the CAA,” he added.