Thomas Cook takeover deal could lead to reopening of Galashiels travel shop

Andrew Cummings
October 12, 2019

The acquisition of Thomas Cook's entire United Kingdom store estate by family-run Hays Travel is a fairytale ending to a nightmare month for staff of one of Britain's best-loved brands.

We are delighted that Hays Travel has been successful in acquiring all of the Thomas Cook shops in the United Kingdom meaning that we can now offer opportunities to more people.

It is a bold move on Hays' part, but Thomas Cook is a cherished brand with an established customer base and if Hays has negotiated well, the move may just pay off.

However, Hays has said that they would have to "consider the future of under-performing shops" in towns where branches would overlap.

Irene Hays, chair of the Hays Travel Group, said: "We all share a passion for the travel industry and we want to continue to build the company's reputation for first-class service and being a great place to work and develop a career".

It seems that ABTA's prayers have been answered as the organisation wished for the skilled staff of Thomas Cook to be able to get back on their feet as soon as possible.

Special Managers from KPMG were also appointed by the court to assist the Official Receiver with the liquidation.

David Chapman, director of the Official Receiver, remarked that the sale "represents an important step in the liquidation process, as we seek to realise the company's assets".

However, a ray of light has been shone in the wake of the devastation, as Hays Travel has announced that it has purchased all 555 of the Thomas Cook stores, thereby saving thousands of jobs.

We are very grateful to all our Hays Travel colleagues who have worked their socks off to help make this happen over the last two weeks.

The 178-year-old Thomas Cook folded on September 23 after failing to secure a last-minute rescue deal.

Irene Hays, the chairwoman of Hays Travel, rubbished a claim by Ryanair CEO, Michael O'Leary, that the number of people booking flights and hotels online meant the package holiday industry was "screwed". It employs 1900 people and achieved a turnover of more than £1 billion last year, which saw the Hays share £1 million with its employees, who each received £100 for every year they had worked at the company.

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