The possible bankruptcy of British tour operator Thomas Cook, which was fighting for survival on Sunday, would be a bombshell for European holidaymakers and trigger a mammoth repatriation operation.
Here are the implications for tourists should the 178-year old giant collapse.
What happens in the event of bankruptcy?
If the embattled company fails to secure the £200 million (?227 million) rescue funds or find an alternative plan, it will have to file for bankruptcy in Britain.
The group’s activities would cease immediately, forcing its travel agencies to close, grounding its planes and leaving the group’s 22,000 global employees — 9,000 of whom are in Britain — out of a job.
Directors, probably from audit firms, will be appointed to try to find a buyer, restructure its debt or sell assets.
Some 600,000 tourists worldwide would have to be repatriated, including 150,000 Britons, making it the largest such operation in the country since World War II.
The operation could take two weeks, the maximum duration of most of Thomas Cook’s package breaks.
Who would lead the operation?
The British Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) would be responsible for organising the repatriation, as it was during the bankruptcy of British airline Monarch in October 2017.
The bill is expected to run to several billion pounds, including £600 million in the United Kingdom alone.
The CAA has already drawn up an emergency plan called “Operation Matterhorn”, named after an American bombing operation against Japanese forces during World War II.
A telephone number will be provided for affected holidaymakers.
What protections do holidaymakers have?
Thomas Cook assured its British clients that they are protected by the “ATOL guarantee”.
This system, which is based on a European directive, is managed by the CAA and covers tourists who have purchased all-inclusive trips with flights and hotels.
Tourists already on holiday will be able to finish their stay and then return as normal, with other companies providing the services.
Those who have not yet left will get a refund or offered an alternative holiday.
The European Package Travel Directive applies to package holidaymakers who booked in other EU countries, guaranteeing refunds and repatriation in the event of bankruptcy.
CAA has vowed that everything will be done to bring tourists back on the scheduled day.
Travellers who have only purchased airline tickets from Thomas Cook are not covered by ATOL but can turn to their credit card provider or insurers for refunds.
Former Trump pal Donny Deutsch explains the president’s gamble on impeachment
MSNBC's Donny Deutsch has a theory about his old pal President Donald Trump and his latest strategy to wriggle out of trouble.
The "Morning Joe" contributor suspects the president, whom he used to know from their days in New York City, believes impeachment is inevitable, but he's confident that Republican senators won't remove him from office.
"Rev, I'm seeing a little bit of a different show here," Deutsch told the Rev. Al Sharpton. "You and I know Trump pretty well, or used to know Trump pretty well. I don't think there's any chance Mick Mulvaney went out there on his own."
Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, admitted during a press briefing that he held up congressionally approved aid to Ukraine in an effort to press the country to investigate a conspiracy theory about Democrats and the 2016 election.
Mick Mulvaney is Trump’s new fall guy on corruption — and Republicans just play along
It's getting increasingly more difficult to keep track of all the new impeachable acts President Trump commits every day. And perhaps even more difficult to imagine the most outrageous thing he can do that the Republican Party would still defend.
This article first appeared in Salon.
It took almost two weeks, but the White House has finally admitting what everyone knew from day one: Trump demanded a quid pro quo from the Ukrainian government before releasing military aid authorized by Congress. Republicans have been denying the obvious, remaining willfully blind to a brazen scheme. That suddenly seems quaint, now that acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney has confessed on live television that there was a quid pro quo.
The week Donald Trump’s presidency crashed and burned — and Republicans noticed
It feels as though every week during the Trump administration is a year and every year a decade. Every day there is a crisis or an outrage or a revelation that takes your breath away. But the underlying dynamics always seem to be the same no matter what. The press reports the story, the Democrats get outraged, the pundits analyze it, the president rages and then Fox and the Republicans all line up like a bunch of robots and salute smartly. Then we reset until the next crisis, outrage or revelation. It's an exhausting cycle that never seems to get us anywhere and it's bred a fatalistic response in many of us: "Nothing matters."