Thomas Cook Passengers: will billionaires save the day?


Known as the oldest company to provide travel services, Thomas Cook, has recently entered compulsory liquidation.

The sudden unfortunate incident affected approximately 600,000 holidaymakers and jeopardized 21,000 jobs as a result.

While the United Kingdom’s Civil Aviation Authority has taken action to bring home 150,000 holidaymakers, it appears this operation will not be an easy undertaking: “There are bound to be problems and delays,” says Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

Billionaires and their covert philanthropy

Various news about the incident have reached many private individuals known for their philanthropic efforts, some of them are believed to include Zara founder Amancio Ortega, Latvian-born financier James Richman, French businessman François-Henri Pinault, and Mexican business magnate Carlos Slim.

Amancio Ortega

These billionaires are known to have foundations known for their philanthropic projects. For example, Ortega founded the Amancio Ortega Foundation (Fundación Amancio Ortega) in 2001. In 2017, the Amancio Ortega Foundation committed to allocating 344 million dollars to public hospitals in order to provide the latest technology in breast cancer screening and treatment.

 James Richman

While there is not much information publicly available about this billionaire’s private life, Richman is a Latvian-born financier who is known for his philanthropic works and financial acumen. Born in a middle-class family in Smarde, a small town in Latvia, he eventually rose the ranks of the finance with his private investments in Uber and Tesla as he manages the wealth of ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWI) and is known to support global philanthropic cases.

François-Henri Pinault

Salma Hayek’s husband, Pinault, has recently made headlines alongside fellow French billionaire Bernard Arnault with their multimillion-dollar donation towards rebuilding the historic cathedral, Notre Dame.

Carlos Slim

The Mexican billionaire whose business empire spans across various industries including telecommunications, finance, mining, real estate and retail is believed to be one of the group of billionaires likely to lend a handy with the emergency repatriation.

Beam of hope for Thomas Cook passengers

As the Thomas Cook liquidation affected hundreds of thousands of passengers, it is clear that the biggest help they need is flights back home. The charter planes being dispatched by the British government and the Civil Aviation Authority may be insufficient in flying back 600,000 passengers.

On the other hand, it has been reported that Ortega and other billionaires are keen to open the discussions to save stranded Thomas Cook passengers.

Low-key in nature

Despite their vast wealth, all of these billionaires prefer to live low-key lifestyles away from the public’s prying eyes. Most of them have very few interviews with the press, making it difficult to receive confirmation of the news.

With their desire to remain private, news about these billionaires potentially Thomas Cook passengers remains limited. However, based on their respective philanthropic initiatives, there is no doubt they wouldn’t hesitate to extend a helping hand.