The first of 155,000 British tourists are being flown back home after travel agent Thomas Cook collapsed on Monday.
The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is co-ordinating the repatriation, the biggest in peacetime, after the tour operator “ceased trading with immediate effect”.
Thomas Cook’s administration puts 22,000 jobs at risk worldwide, including 9,000 in the UK.
Boss Peter Fankhauser said the collapse was a “matter of profound regret”.
Thomas Cook, whose roots go back to 1841, went bust after last-ditch talks to raise fresh funding failed. The BBC understands the government was asked to fund a bailout of £250m, which was denied.
Some 16,000 holidaymakers were booked to come back on Monday, and authorities hope to get at least 14,000 of them home on chartered flights.