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Final Thomas Cook ‘rescue flight’ to arrive back in UK

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Passengers board a Thomas Cook airplane at the Heraklion airport on the island of Crete

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Thomas Cook's final passengers being transported back to the UK after the company's collapse will land today.

Sunday marked the end of emergency repatriation, Operation Matterhorn, with the last plane scheduled to land in Manchester this morning.

The massive operation, managed by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), brought 150,000 passengers home on about 700 flights.

The operation was the largest peacetime repatriation program in the UK.

"We are pleased that 94% of tourists came home on the day of their original departure," said Richard Moriarty, CAA chief executive.

The remaining passengers wishing to return after October 7 were informed that they would have to make their own arrangements.

Those covered by the Air Travel Organizer (ATOL) License scheme, as was most Thomas Cook vacations, will be refunded.

CAA used some Thomas Cook employees during Operation Matterhorn, but when the final flight landed, they would join the 9,000 jobless colleagues.

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About 150,000 passengers were brought back to the UK.

As the cabin crew made their final rescue flights on Sunday, passengers described seeing many crying.

"The employees were all crying," a passenger told Sky News at Manchester Airport.

"And I started crying too. It was very exciting. They did a fantastic job of recovering us."

Another said he was "concerned" about returning home from his Tunisian vacation, but "very happy" about the way it was administered and praised the "brilliant representative of Thomas Cook."

Thomas Cook stopped trading on September 28, after 178 years in the market.

A parliamentary committee has begun to examine the actions of its management team in recent months of the company.

An investigation was also initiated by the accounting inspection with the company's auditors.

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) will review the role of financial services company EY in signing the last set of accounts before the tour operator went bankrupt.

The regulator said it would examine whether EY had acted correctly in its audit of the 2018 figures.

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