About 2,500 British tourists are still stranded in The Gambia, a Thomas Cook spokesperson has told IBTimes UK.

The travel company launched an emergency response after President Jammeh declared a 90-day state of emergency over disputed election results and Senegal prepared a military invasion.

Thomas Cook has so far evacuated 1,159 customers and is planning to fly home 2,540 holidaymakers over the next two days.

A spokesperson said: "We are operating 16 flights and have sent a special assistance team to The Gambia to bring our customers home safely. By the end of Friday 20 January we hope to have flown 3,500 people back to the UK.

"We have told people to remain at their hotels and wait for the coach transfer to Banjul airport. We have managed to reach most of our customers via text messages and communication on social media." The spokesperson added that some tourists have chosen to remain in the country.

Julie Bamber's father is on holiday with friends in The Gambia. She told IBTimes UK: "Luckily my father has managed to get on a Thomas Cook flight at 4pm today. He rang the company's helpline and said they were very helpful. My only concern is that authorities will close the airport this afternoon. My father said that everyone has been told to stay indoors and that there are troops patrolling the streets."

Chaos reigned at Banjul airport as tourists fled the country on Wednesday 18 January. The Foreign Office has issued a statement warning against "all but essential travel" to the West African country.

Pedro Dantas, a photographer from Northamptonshire, flew back with Thomas Cook on Wednesday. He said: "They handled the situation brilliantly. Everyone was reasonably calm at the airport. it did not feel like we were being evacuated from a dangerous situation. I did not notice the political turmoil except for the fact that the Gambians appeared apprehensive about their future."

Thomas Cook has suspended all flights to The Gambia until 31 January.

Thomas Cook is operating 16 flights to The Gambia to bring home 3,500 British tourists by the end of Friday 20 January Paul Ellis/Getty Images