Corfu… Malta… Crete… Mallorca. Chaotic travel scenes were replicated at airports around the world as hundreds of thousands of holidaymakers were stranded after Thomas Cook – the world’s oldest travel firm – collapsed. It’s thought some travellers may find themselves stuck in hotels that have not been paid for, as far afield as Goa and Gambia. The liquidation has sparked the largest peacetime repatriation effort in British history – the firm currently has around 150,000 British tourists abroad. When counting all nationalities of customers impacted, the figure is closer to 600,000. Thomas Cook ran hotels, resorts and airlines for 19 million customers a year, employing around 21,000 people. But over a decade, it built up debts, thanks to a number of ill-timed deals. And the holiday firm was unable to respond to online competition. Its CEO Peter Fankhauser issued an apology on Monday (September 23) morning.