Thursday, 5 March 2015

Is Thomas Cook about to flog it's airline?

Financially troubled Thomas Cook could be about to sell off its airline according to people inside the industry and the company.
 
Last month the Sunday Times ran a story that the company was trying to off load the airline business to a venture capitalist firm. Other industry insiders have also murmured rumours of preliminary talks before proper negotiations between company bosses and other 'interested parties'.
 
However the  head of airlines and hotels division Christoph Debus has dismissed these 0recent reports and defended the record of former chief executive Harriet Green.  "I never talked to the investor mentioned [in the article]."  He told travel paper TravelWeekly.  "We are definitely not desperate to sell our airline. There were no talks. There is no real news."
 
 
He said: "Harriet asked at the beginning 'Do we need our airline?' She realised quickly we have a board able to run an airline successfully.   We see our selves [Thomas Cook airlines] as a fully integrated part of the group "Our strategy is to create synergies by bringing our airlines together. A pure airline operation does not really make much sense."
 
Green left Thomas Cook abruptly late last year and the group is now headed by chief executive Peter Fankhauser.   Debus said: "Harriet was extremely strong in what she did in the first year of transformation. She was the perfect person for the job at the time. She did an amazing job. I was her first hire. She was a very demanding boss but she taught me a lot. It was always clear she would move on."
 
Yet many inside the company believe that her departure had more to do with disagreement's within the company hierarchy over the issue of selling the airline and other such divesting divisions.  A source inside the head office advised that tentative approaches had been made regarding negotiations for either a joint venture or a complete disposal of the airline.
 
Watch this space!  
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