The collapse of Thomas Cook has cost a record amount of almost £350 million in Atol payments.

The figure was disclosed by the aviation regulator as it was confirmed that more than 99% of all claims made by those who lost future holiday bookings when the travel giant failed in September have now been settled.

This equates to around 340,000 claims, valued at almost £350 million from the Atol scheme.

It is the largest amount ever paid out since the creation of Atol protection in the 1970s, the Civil Aviation Authority revealed.

Claims for cancelled holidays are continuing to arrive on a daily basis.

The CAA said: “While the claims system is open for new claims until September this year, we encourage anyone who has not yet opened a claim to do so as soon as possible.”

Authority chief executive Richard Moriarty said: “We are pleased to have settled more than 99% of all the claims for cancelled Thomas Cook holidays that we have received to date.

“This was a major operation that had to contend with huge complexity, incomplete data and fraudulent claims, and we acknowledge that some cases took longer to process than we would have liked.

“Nearly all claims have now been paid and we appreciate the patience of former Thomas Cook customers as we tackled this immense task – the biggest ever managed by the Atol scheme.”

He added: “I would also like to sincerely thank the dedicated teams we set up at the CAA to assist consumers with this claims process.

“Their work to get the right money back to the right people during the UK’s largest ever travel claims operation has been remarkable and hugely appreciated.”

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