Pontefract couple determined to reach dream Cyprus wedding despite Thomas Cook collapse

Lorna and Paul with Lorna's 14-year-old son, Liam.
Lorna and Paul with Lorna's 14-year-old son, Liam.

A couple say they are determined to reach their dream wedding in Cyprus after their big day was thrown into jeopardy by the collapse of Thomas Cook.

Bride-to-be Lorna Clark,33, and her fiance Paul Ruckledge, 44, were due to fly out next week with seven other guests having all booked flights through the doomed tour operator.

The pair are set to tie the knot in a dream beach wedding on October 5, but after the company announced that it would be folding, all holidays and scheduled flights were cancelled.

The news means Lorna and Paul, who are from Pontefract, have been frantically trying to find alternative flights.

However, the company's collapse has sent the price of flights spiralling.

They have now booked themselves onto a flight, but at double what they originally paid.

Miss Clark, who works in the kitchens at Willow Park Care Home in Pontefract said: "We were trying to look at flights but they had doubled.

"Just for myself and Paul we were looking at £1,000.

"They have been going up every hour as well, every time you click on them it seems to go up another £20.

"It's been horrible, it's not just a holiday, it's our wedding. We've been planning it for over a year.

"We've been hoping something would happen with Thomas Cook and had hoped for the best.

"I've been in tears but we are still determined to get there.

"Luckily, we haven't booked any hotels through Thomas Cook."

The couple, who have been together for five years, are due to marry on a balcony overlooking the beach near the resort of Paphos.

They have booked a villa for all family and friends and are hopeful everyone can still make it.

Luckily, the couple have so far managed to recoup money for the flights of five of the nine-strong party through the bank, despite not having ATOL-protected insurance.

As one of the world's best-known holiday brands, the business was founded in 1841 in Leicestershire by cabinet-maker Thomas Cook.

It was announced at the weekend that the firm would fold unless a £200 million bailout was found.

But Thomas Cook announced in the early hours of this morning that a last-ditch rescue bid had failed.

The operator, which was Britain's oldest, has axed 22,000 jobs worldwide, including 9,000 in the UK.

Since this morning's announcement, the Civil Aviation Authority has launched Operation Matterhorn - to bring home the 155,000 tourists stranded abroad by the firm's collapse.

It is estimated the repatriation of tourists could cost the Government hundreds of millions of pounds.