Chad sports editor relives heartbreak on one of Thomas Cook's 'last ever flights'

Your Chad sports editor John Lomas with wife Pam in Fuerteventura.
Your Chad sports editor John Lomas with wife Pam in Fuerteventura.

Despite the bright, hot sunshine in Correlajo, some metaphorical clouds began to appear over our Fuerteventura holiday last week as news reached us of Thomas Cook's dire situation.

Everyone had known for months of the travel giant's perilous financial situation, though it did appear they had all but solved it before we flew.

Scenes at Fuerteventura airport on John Lomas' last day of his holiday.

Scenes at Fuerteventura airport on John Lomas' last day of his holiday.

But suddenly the talk of the hotel was whether or not we'd be able to get home if it all went belly up at the end of the week.

Although an uncomfortable thought, we all knew that at least we'd be stranded in the sun for a day or two – a far better fate than those who had looked forward to a break for so long and were preparing to fly out.

As it was we were told our flight was happening and arrived at the airport with optimism.

A few nerves jangled as the screen showed the word 'delayed' on our flight with news that Thomas Cook were in final crisis talks.

Thomas Cook, on West Gate, Mansfield.

Thomas Cook, on West Gate, Mansfield.

But finally we were on the plane and heading home.

The crew were smiling and helpful as ever as we sped towards East Midlands Airport.

But their real feelings came through near landing as the stewardess nearest us looked to be holding back tears.

Then came a highly emotional announcement over the tannoy to thanks passengers for flying Thomas Cook and huge thanks for all the words of support and comfort from passengers during the flight.

Her voice began to break as she said times were uncertain and this could be their last ever flight but they hoped they would be able to take us all on holiday again in the future.

At this point her tears began to flow as did those of other flight crew and some passengers, who burst into spontaneous applause which only heightened the deep emotional feelings.

It really did feel like the end of an era.

On landing we all wished them well as we left the plane as we did the girls in our local branch later on Sunday when changing Euros back to Sterling.

Sadly overnight their fate was sealed and they now look to be another huge firm consigned to history in these tough times.

Being so important to people's lives and with so many jobs and high street branches to go, I believe this is where Government could have stepped in with a temporary bail-out to keep them afloat – even if only to keep Government employment figures looking good.

But it wasn't to be and yet another famous name has gone from our rapidly crumbling high streets – a vacancy for another charity shop or another unit to sit boarded up for the foreseeable future.