The travel industry was fundamentally transformed by the rise of online travel sites, budget flights, Airbnb, and other disruptive forces, and one of the world’s oldest travel companies was among those hit. Thomas Cook had amassed significant debt following a number of acquisitions and was facing financial restructuring to stay solvent. AlixPartners was engaged to provide assistance as the firm moved through restructuring, and to assist with contingency planning in the event that the restructuring was unsuccessful, which unfortunately proved to be the case.

The compulsory liquidation of the company kicked off the largest peacetime repatriation of UK citizens in history by AlixPartners in conjunction with the Civil Aviation Authority, with 140,000 UK travellers stranded around the globe.

A specialist AlixPartners team was deployed to assess the company’s IT infrastructure and identify the most efficient framework to support the wind-down. Over £150 million was generated in the first three months of the liquidation, with additional asset realization workstreams continuing on as the company found ways to preserve its legacy.


UK travellers repatriated


generated within 3 months

"The largest peacetime repatriation ever required an extraordinary effort from all involved."
—Richard Moriarty, CAA Chief Executive.

Related case studies