By Durmus Genc and Ali Balli
MUGLA, Turkey (AA) - British tourists are leaving Tuesday from Turkey's southwestern Mugla province following the collapse of U.K. tour operator Thomas Cook.
Nearly 1,000 tourists have started returning to the U.K. from Dalaman Airport in Mugla via 12 planes that were sent by the British Civil Aviation Authority after the company's announcement that it had gone into liquidation.
An additional 3,000 tourists are expected to leave from the province during the day.
Tourists waiting for return flights at the airport were informed by officials who came from the U.K.
Hours after Thomas Cook's collapse, Turkish authorities moved to reassure tourists in Turkey who booked and paid for their holidays through the iconic firm.
The major British holiday operator and airline has “ceased trading with immediate effect,” British authorities said Monday morning.
All bookings by the 178-year-old company -- including flights and holidays -- were canceled, they stated.
Around 150,000 people are expected to be affected by the canceled flights.