Mid-East Uprisings Cost Thomas Cook £22m

Tour operator Thomas Cook lost £22m after cancelling 160,000 holidays to Egypt and Tunisia following the uprisings in the two countries, it has been revealed.

The cost contributed to a £269m loss for the group in the six months to March 31, which also admitted the UK market remains 'tough'.

It spent £4.8m repatriating British tourists from both Egypt and Tunisia, and lost an estimated £17m on cancelled holidays.

These including 120,000 trips to Egypt, and 40,000 holidays to Tunisia.

A total of 50,000 UK tourists were brought back from Egypt after the January revolt against President Mubarak.

Around 8,000 UK nationals were repatriated from Tunisia the following month.

Thomas Cook also warned that the ongoing conflict in Libya meant holidaymakers were wary of travelling to North Africa.

It said bookings to the continent would be at about 60% of the level originally planned for the second half of 2011.

But the firm warned this could be even lower if the political situation does not improve.

It could also axe planes from its winter holiday schedule to cut costs.