Travel agent steps in to buy Thomas Cook stores

Sunderland-based travel agent Hays Travel will buy 555 stores from Thomas Cook, which could save up to 2,500 jobs.

Hays Travel is buying the shops from the Official Receiver, which was appointed when Thomas Cook collapsed last month.

Staff at nine Thomas Cook shops in Lincolnshire, including the two-year-old Cornhill unit, were told they would lose their jobs when Britain’s oldest travel firm entered compulsory liquidation ceased trading.

It happened after it failed to pay £200 million to creditors, causing around £150,000 Brits to be temporarily stuck abroad before alternative flights were sorted. Honeymoons and vacations were also put into jeopardy for people in Lincolnshire and The Civil Aviation Authority helped bring Thomas Cook customers back to the UK.

Hays, which currently has 190 shops across the UK, has already recruited 421 former Thomas Cook staff and offered employment to more of the airline’s personnel. The firm also plans to open all the shops with immediate effect.

Over 100 new jobs will be based at the company’s headquarters in Sunderland, with the rest in shops across the UK.

John and Irene Hays, managing director and group chair of Hays Travel, said: “Thomas Cook was a much-loved brand employing talented people. We look forward to working with many of them.”

Virgin Atlantic is also helping out by offering jobs to support any Thomas Cook Cabin Crew – click here for more information.


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