All 555 Thomas Cook stores have been bought in the UK by airline company, Hays Travel.
According to Sky News, over 494 ex-Thomas Cook employees have already been employed by the country’s largest independent airline.
After the collapse of Thomas Cook last month, over 9,000 employees were left unemployed. The collapse also meant the country’s biggest peacetime repatriation exercise to recover the over 150,000 stranded abroad.
The property deal was completed on Monday for an undisclosed sum. An Official Receiver made a statement claiming that this meant there was an opportunity for a “significant number” of past Thomas Cook employees to be recruited for further employment.
David Chapman stated: “I am pleased to announce we have made an agreement with Hays Travel to acquire Thomas Cook’s entire UK real estate, comprising 555 stores across the country.
“This represents an important step in the liquidation process, as we seek to realise the company’s assets.”
After Thomas Cook’s demise, this will be seen as a positive step for UK high streets after fears were reignited about the wider travel market in regards to higher fuel costs.
Hays Travel is a consortium of independent travel agents that are managed by Hays Travel Independence Group. The company’s brands also include Go Travel which trades under the Hays Travel name throughout the North West of England. The UK brand currently has 180 shops running.
Managing Director and Group Chair of Hays Travel Limited, John and Irene Hays said: “Thomas Cook was a much-loved brand employing talented people. We look forward to working with many of them.”
Jim Tucker, a partner at serviced firm KPMG and joint special manager of Thomas Cook’s Retail division spoke of the deal: “It provides re-employment opportunities for a significant number of former Thomas Cook employees, and secures the future of retail sites up and down the UK high street.
“We are pleased to have achieved this in a short time frame and in the context of a complex liquidation process, which is a testament to a lot of hard work from a number of parties.
“Over the weeks ahead, we will work closely with Hays Travel and landlords to ensure a smooth transition of the store estate.”
However, it isn’t just Hays Travel that has recruited ex-Thomas Cook employees. Virgin Atlantic revealed they had openings, ‘to support any Thomas Cook Cabin Crew after the sad announcement that the company has ceased operations’.
Not only that, but some airports such as Manchester Airport have held jobs fairs in which hundreds of previous Thomas Cook employees have turned up in the hope to secure a new role. Information was provided on ex-Thomas Cook’s employees next steps after the business folded, to find out if they were entitled to any benefits.
CEO 0f Manchester Airport, Andrew Cowan told Manchester Evening News: “The whole of the Manchester Airport community was shocked and saddened by the news of Thomas Cook’s collapse.
“That is why we are determined to come together as an airport community, and to work with our partners in the city and wider region, to do all we can to help those who have sadly lost their jobs.
“There are so many talented and experienced people who have found themselves in this predicament through no fault of their own, so we hope this event will provide some help and support to them at this challenging time.”
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