Nearly 1,000 Thomas Cook holidaymakers will be returned to the UK from the Gambia following a change made by the Foreign Office regarding its travel advice due to unrest in the country.
The firm plans to bring 985 customers home to the UK within the next 48 hours.
A 90-day state of emergency has been declared due to disputed elections. The west African nation has become a place of political uncertainty following presidential elections last month, with leader Yahya Jammeh unwilling to hand over power to the winner of the polls, Adama Barrow.
In response, the UK Foreign Office (FCO) is now advising against all but essential travel to the Gambia.
As well as implementing their contingency plan to bring all of the 985 customers currently on holiday in the Gambia home, Thomas Cook have also cancelled all flights to Gambia until Friday 20 January. The airline will also be offering 2,500 flight-only customers in the Gambia the possibility of early flights to the UK.
In addition the company is sending a special assistance team on the first flight from the UK to provide support for customers and is offering free amendments or cancellations for holidays to the Gambia scheduled until Friday.
The FCO have advised tourists, “You should follow events closely, take extra care, keep in regular contact with your tour operator and airline and continue to monitor travel advice and social media updates in case tensions rise as the current political deadlock continues”.