Monday, 14 October, 2019

Hays Travel to take over 555 Thomas Cook stores

Thomas Cook stores sold to Hays Travel Thomas Cook takeover deal could lead to reopening of Galashiels travel shop
Jean Garcia | 12 October, 2019, 14:00

This week rival Hays Travel announced it was buying all 555 Thomas Cook shops in the United Kingdom, adding that it had already offered jobs to 600 former staff.

John and Irene Hays, Managing Director and Group Chair of Hays Travel Limited, said: "Thomas Cook was a much-loved brand employing talented people".

The travel agent went bust in September, but now a rival has bought out the high street stores and protected numerous jobs.

Thomas Cook's collapse on September 23 under a mountain of debt led to 9 000 job losses in the United Kingdom and left 150 000 people stuck overseas, with the holiday plans of thousands more ruined.

He added: "It is a game-changer for us, nearly trebling the number of shops we have and doubling our workforce - and for the industry, which will get to keep some of its most talented people".

Hays Travel was founded in 1980 by husband and wife Irene and John Hays.

Antalya and Dalaman in Turkey were Thomas Cook Airlines' most popular destinations for British travelers, according to data from airline database Cirium.

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"We are re-opening all of 555 Thomas Cook shops as soon as possible and we are employing Thomas Cook people as fast as we can - 769 have been recruited and 180 made an offer up to last night".

David Chapman, the official receiver of Thomas Cook, said: "This represents an important step in the liquidation process, as we seek to realise the company's assets".

Hays Travel will acquire the entire retail portfolio of 555 former Thomas Cook shops after it signed a deal with the Official Receiver and Special Managers from KPMG.

"I'm very proud of the fantastic team who have helped me build Hays Travel over nearly 40 years, and they have worked tirelessly over the last couple of weeks to bring this about".

After the announcement on 23rd September that the company had entered compulsory liquidation, numerous companies and individuals have come forward to support former employees of the travel agent, hotels and airline operator.

It throws a lifeline to up to 2,500 redundant employees, many of whom worked for decades at the 178-year-old firm before it collapsed into insolvency last month.

"I'm very proud of the fantastic team who have helped me build Hays Travel over nearly 40 years and they have worked tirelessly over the last couple of weeks to bring this about".

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