The head of a German airline affiliated with defunct tour operator Thomas Cook has apologized for a video posted online that shows employees celebrating a bailout loan after a corporate collapse this week that stranded hundreds of thousands of vacationers worldwide.
The video, posted online, depicted employees of Condor celebrating the bailout the company received from the German government to keep it operating. Condor’s flying future was uncertain after the sudden collapse of Thomas Cook Monday.
Many critics online slammed the video, saying it was insensitive in light of the more than 600,000 stranded travelers and 21,000 laid off Thomas Cook employees.
“I never, ever intended to cause offence or appear inconsiderate. I am heartbroken that any of my colleagues feel that I have been, and for that I am truly sorry,” Condor CEO Christoph Debus said.
Britain’s Civil Aviation Authority arranged for flights to retrieve British vacationers who’d become stranded. The flights cost more than $100 million.
“The reaction of myself, the Condor management and employees was one of pure relief that Condor could continue to fly and more redundancies within the group airlines were prevented,” Debus added.
Thomas Cook, founded 178 years ago, closed after it did not receive a bailout package from the British government. Negotiations between the company and key stakeholders for recapitalization and reorganization had previously failed.