Hundreds of thousands of vacationers were left stranded when one of the world’s oldest tour companies, Thomas Cook, abruptly announced Monday, with some of its flights still in the air, that it was going out of business, the New York Times reported.

Amid scenes of confusion at airports in European vacation spots, British aviation officials scrambled to stitch together a plan to bring home 150,000 travelers — the largest peacetime repatriation in the country’s history.

The company, which opened for business in 1841, said that all its bookings, including flights operated directly by the company, have been cancelled.

“We are sorry to announce that Thomas Cook has ceased trading with immediate effect,” the company said.

The jarring news snarled travel plans for hundreds of thousands as tourism officials braced for a potentially devastating hit to their economies.