Thomas Cook suspends program; German and British tourists flown home
Around 2,000 German and 1,800 British holidaymakers are being evacuated from Tunisia after huge crowds of angry demonstrators in the capital Tunis demanded the resignation of the president, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, on Friday. “Although there have been no specific problems for our holidaymakers, their well-being is our primary concern so, as a precaution, we’ve taken the decision to bring them back to the UK as soon as we can, using our fleet of aircraft,” said Thomas Cook in a statement.
The company is evacuating the German tourists in the wake of a travel warning from the German foreign minister. Likewise, the UK Foreign Office has advised against all but essential travel to Tunisia. “There have been demonstrations, some violent, in multiple locations across the country,” The Foreign Office said. “The situation is unpredictable and there is the potential for violence to flare up, raising the risk of getting caught up in demonstrations. British nationals in Tunisia should monitor the news or stay in touch with your tour operator.”
Thomas Cook has cancelled flights to the troubled North African country that were due to leave on Sunday. It is “reviewing the situation” about further flights. Other operators such as First Choice and Thomson have cancelled their excursions. But although Thomson Airways’ flight bound for Tunisia on Sunday has also been cancelled, at the moment the operators are bringing home only those customers who want to leave.