LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — British travel firm Thomas Cook shut down suddenly, leaving hundreds of thousands of travelers stranded around the world.

(credit: CBS)

British aviation authorities say the 178-year-old firm collapsed after failing to secure $250 million in rescue funding. Officials blamed a drop in the British pound and a slowdown in bookings caused by the uncertainty over Brexit for its downfall.

The firm’s collapse left more than 600,000 people in the lurch around the world. Officials are stepping in to bring home 150,000 British customers who were left stranded abroad.

However, Thomas Cook customers who only booked hotel stays will not be bailed out by the British government.

Thomas Cook’s collapse will also leave about 21,000 people in 16 countries without a job.

Thomas Cook flew from Europe and the U.K. to tourist destinations around the world, including Los Angeles. One of the four airlines operated by Thomas Cook flew out of LAX’s Terminal 6, but the flights were sparse. Thomas Cook flew between Los Angeles and Manchester just twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

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