Showing posts with label Thomas Cook. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Thomas Cook. Show all posts

Sunday 5 April 2020

Thomas Cook Aviation bankrupt after Condor pulls the plug

One of the last vestigates of the Thomas Cook came crashing down this week when Condor - the German sideline of the group, rescued by Thomas Cooks German management cancelled its leasing deal with Thomas Cook Aviation.

Thomas Cook Aviation, based in Oberursel, Hesse, was formerly known as Air Berlin Aeronautics, a subsidiary Air Berlin, it became known as Air Berlin Aviation, until Air Berlin went bankrupt.  It was rescued from the mire by the Thomas Cook Group in 2018. It flew a small fleet of six Airbus A320s and A321s all on behalf of Condor and sporting its livery. 

The contract with Condor was in effect until the end of December 2021 and should have been safe, however,  with the ongoing coronavirus COVID-19 crisis Condor was forced to ground most of its aircraft.  It used its own fleet to operate limited repatriation flights, which left Thomas Cook Aviation's aircraft sitting on the ground, doing nothing other than costing Condor money.  "For this reason, like many other airlines, we had to terminate the contract with the seasonal partner airline Thomas Cook Aviation, among other things, to reduce costs," a spokesperson for Condor said.






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Wednesday 2 October 2019

More than 5,000 roles on offer at jobs fair for those impacted by Thomas Cook collapse


Manchester Airport to play host for dedicated employment event for Thomas Cook employees who lost their jobs
Event also open for those working in airline’s supply chain who are also impacted
Businesses offering jobs include TUI, British Airways, Jet.com, plus many more
Free transport to and from event for those attending
Support including money advice and CV tips also on offer
Thousands of jobs with more than 40 companies will be on offer on Thursday for former Thomas Cook and supply chain employees at a dedicated jobs fair held at Manchester Airport.

Airlines including British Airways, TUI and Jet2.com will be represented at the event at the Runway Visitor Park on Thursday 3rd October. Other travel brands include Hilton and Mercure Hotels, while a range of other retail, engineering and logistics businesses will also be represented.

Monday 23 September 2019

Thomas Cook goes into liquidation

Thomas Cook,  one of the worlds oldest travel companies collapsed into administration early on Monday morning, following a last ditched attempt to rescue the ailing came to nothing.

A meeting was held between the firm's senior executives and key stakeholders and creditors in London on Sunday, with the express intention of coming up with a recuse plan, after the UK government refused to bail out the company.   

The bleak notice the firm put on its website in the early hours stated:

Thomas Cook UK Plc and associated UK entities have entered Compulsory Liquidation and are now under the control of the Official Receiver.

The UK business has ceased trading with immediate effect and all future flights and holidays are cancelled.

A dedicated support service is being provided by The Civil Aviation Authority to assist customers currently overseas and those in the UK with future bookings.
Please visit:
thomascook.caa.co.uk

The UK Civil Aviation Authority has already swung into action in a mass repatriation plan, chartering 40 aircraft from around the world to collect Thomas Cook passengers from holiday airports around Europe and further afield. It is understood aircraft from Eastern Airlines and Malaysian, are among those chartered by the CAA to take over from the Thomas Cook airlines schedules to bring people back. The plan is to operate a 'shadow' type airline, bringing Thomas Cook passengers home as close as possible to their originally scheduled return date.   


Sunday 22 September 2019

Frantic final five hours to save Thomas Cook - no government rescue on the cards


Senior executives and managers of the troubled travel firm are meeting this morning for a frantic final five hours to save the company from collapse.

The top bosses are meeting the 178-year-old travel company's biggest shareholders this morning at a special emergency meeting at the offices of international corporate and commercial law firm Slaughter & May Group in a final push to put together a rescue deal of £200 million demanded by banks RBS and Lloyds.  

Sky News in the UK is reporting that a plan to sell off the Nordic operations of Thomas Cook to Triton Partners was still under discussion, however other sources indicate that deal was pulled off the table on Friday.  In recent days a number of other options and permutations have been considered, including keeping Thomas Cook Airlines going whilst letting the tour operation and travel agency side of the business collapse. There has been much industry speculation of other airlines interested in taking on all or part of the airline division - including rumours that Lufthansa was about to rescue the German Condor part of the airline group, yet these remain purely conjecture at this time.

There are an estimated 600,000 Thomas Cook customers currently on holiday, of which around 160,000 are from the UK. The travel firm, founded in 1841 to operate temperance day trips, employs around 21,000 staff, with approximately 9,000 in the UK and is one of the largest travel companies in the World. It serves an average of 19 million customers each year in 16 different countries, with annual sales of £9 billion.

Saturday 21 September 2019

Thomas Cook asks for government bailout as it struggles to survive after banks demand an extra £200 million

One of Europe's the longest-running holiday firms, Thomas Cook, is on the brink of administration asking the government for a bailout, following a shortfall in funding from its backers. The Department for Transport said in a statement, "We do not speculate on the financial situation of individual businesses.".

The 178-year old travel firm has been struggling a lot recently with its finances, it has tried a restructuring process a number of times in recent years, in May this year, one of the most recognised UK travel brands reported a £1.5 billion loss for the first half of the year. In July it said it needed £900 million to survive the winter and trade into the next year.  It believed it had everything sorted a few days ago, at least for the rest of this year with a rescue deal by Chinese firm Fosum, who also own ClubMed and football club Wolverhampton Wanderers and a number of other backers.

However, Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyd and one or two other bankers are demanding the travel firm stumps up an extra £200 million for contingency funds for the winter months, this is in addition to the £900m brought in by the Fosun rescue deal. RBS, itself bailed out by the UK government defended its bullish stance, saying  "As one of a number of lenders, RBS has provided considerable support to Thomas Cook over many years and continues to work with all parties in order to try and find a resolution to the funding and liquidity shortfall at Thomas Cook."

Friday 20 September 2019

Thomas Cook on the brink........ seeks government bailout

One of Europe's the longest-running holiday firms, Thomas Cook, is on the brink of administration this weekend as it struggles to find an extra £200 million funding, demanded by the banks.

Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyd and others are demanding the travel firm stumps up the £200 million for contingency funds for the winter months, in addition to the £900m brought in by Fosun as part of a rescue deal.  RBS defended its stance, saying  "As one of a number of lenders, RBS has provided considerable support to Thomas Cook over many years and continues to work with all parties in order to try and find a resolution to the funding and liquidity shortfall at Thomas Cook."

It is understood that Thomas Cook has now approached the UK government for some sort of bailout or funding to stave off administration and survive the summer and winter seasons. The Department for Transport said in a statement, "We do not speculate on the financial situation of individual businesses.".

It is estimated that there are 600,000 customers of Thomas Cook overseas on holidays, around 160,000 of those come from the UK, with hundreds of thousands about to embark on trips from various European countries. 

At this time, negotiations and discussions are still ongoing, however, the UK's Civil Aviation Authority has started to draw up contingency plans to repatriate overseas holidaymakers, which would the biggest one of its kind. It is understood that a number of aircraft have been chartered for Sunday and Monday. 

The 178-year-old company employs around 21,000 people around the world including some 9000 in the UK who would lose their jobs if the firm collapses. Hundreds of others would also face an uncertain future working in support industries and suppliers. 





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Wednesday 28 August 2019

Thomas Cook secures Fosun rescue bid

Fosun Tourism, its banks and a majority of its bondholders have launched a rescue deal for the troubled travel firm Thomas Cook.

The new deal will see the Chinese group, which is already a major stakeholder in the travel company, take control of the business, much at the expense of other shareholding investors.  Fosun will plough £450 million in to Thomas Cook for 75% of the tour business' as well as 25% of the group's airline business.

This deal is bad news for all other investors in the firm as its means a significant dilution in their shareholdings, the company said, but that it had decided it was the best way to secure the future of the group for all its stakeholders. "It means the oldest brand in travel will continue to deliver good-value travel," said Simon Calder, travel editor at the Independent. "A lot of uncertainty that people have, including staff, will be settled by this deal.

"But it begs the question - is Thomas Cook going to be able to differentiate itself sufficiently and be able to deliver exciting experiences and good value?"

Fosun is already Thomas Cook's largest shareholder. It also owns the Club Med holiday business and Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club.





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Wednesday 21 August 2019

Thomas Cook Airlines 'fly with Pride'

With Manchester Pride’s biggest ever Festival just days away, long-standing Pride partner Thomas Cook Airlines’ “Fly with Pride” flight to San Francisco took off from Manchester Airport with an all-LGBT+ crew and has touched down in the Golden Gate City overnight, following a celebration at the Northern hub.

Captured on film, the celebrations started when a Metrolink rainbow tram arrived at The Airport Station with Thomas Cook Airlines’ crew, pilots, customers and House of Suarez, who led a vibrant parade through to check-in. At the gate, customers kicked off their holiday to San Francisco in style with a colourful Pride party, a Gaydio DJ set and further performances from House of Suarez.

The “Fly with Pride” A330 aircraft was emblazoned with the Pride heart, one of five Thomas Cook

Airlines aircraft specially painted this year, each representing a decade since the Stonewall riots and

one for each of the five years that the airline has supported the Manchester Pride Festival. 



The crew also wore a special uniform for the flight. See the livery being painted in a fantastic time-lapse video, here.


Thomas Cook Airlines has long supported diversity and inclusion among its colleagues and customers and actively recruits diverse talent and skills in its Manchester headquarters. Christoph Debus, CEO of Thomas Cook Airlines said, “Diversity is in our DNA. We fly our customers all over the world and we don’t just want to get them from A to B. We want to connect people regardless of their sexuality, gender or race. We believe in a future where everyone can be who they want to be and travel the world while doing so.

Saturday 25 May 2019

Now you can get James Martin on a Thomas Cook flight.....

James Martin
Photo Thomas Cook
The Thomas Cook may be down in the doldrums recently,  debts are mounting, business analysts are not very positive and the airlines are up for sale.  Yet even when things are tough for the company itself,  they are still coming up with ways to please the passengers!  

Thomas Cook Airlines customers can enjoy a brand new onboard menu this Summer, thanks to celebrity chef, James Martin, who just happened to surprise customers on a Thomas Cook Airlines flight to Turkey to launch the menu and to test his dishes on customers. Watch the video here to see what happened.

The new menu includes a selection of delicious dishes. For those flying long-haul in the Premium cabin, there are dishes such as Somerset cider chicken with dauphinoise potato and roasted root vegetables and slow braised beef in Guinness, chive and garlic mash potato for the main course. Vegetarians can look forward to roasted cauliflower with a lightly spiced cauliflower puree, mushrooms and spinach gnocchi. For dessert, banoffee caramel latte mousse awaits.

Saturday 18 May 2019

Can Thomas Cook conquer its debt mountain?

 Can Thomas Cook conquer its debt mountain? 

Following the recent losses announced by the UK holiday firm Thomas Cook earlier this week and news that it has whopping debts of  £1.25billion,  some city analysts have downgraded the companies worth.  Among those were the number crunchers at investment bank  Citigroup who said that one of the UK's oldest tour companies should be priced at zero pence!  Warning that customers might be put off booking future holidays by the firm's drastic financial situation.  These dramatic revelations from the city of London sent Thomas Cook's share price tumbling yesterday, loosing almost 40%

The group has put up its airline business for sale and says it has received significant interest, although no firms have publicly said they want to buy the whole lot, Lufthansa has confirmed an interest in buying Condor - the German holiday airline from Thomas Cook. Another name being mentioned by aviation commentators is Virgin/Delta which recently took on the loss-making Flybe. Indigo Partners, the investment firm behind Wizz and Frontier are another that are believed to have put in a bid, whilst IAG, the parent of British Airways, Iberia and Aer Lingus have ruled themselves out.  

Thursday 16 May 2019

Brexit named as a cause of Thomas Cook's woes.

One of the most well known UK travel firms, Thomas Cook has reported losses of £1.5 billion in the first half of the year and the news sent its share price tumbling on Thursday 16th May.

The firm firmly put the blame partly on Brexit,  it says there was "now little doubt" that uncertainty over the British exit from the European Union had caused customers to delay their summer holiday plans. However, much for the loss (£1.1 billion)  was attributed to the firm's decision to write-down the value of My Travel, a business it took over in 2007. It also blames the good weather in the UK and higher prices in the Canary Islands. 

Sunday 7 April 2019

Thomas Cook Airlines base larger aircraft at Cardiff Airport

One of the UK's leading charter and leisure airlines, Thomas Cook Airlines has introduced an A321 aircraft at Cardiff Airport, replacing the existing A320 aircraft and marked the earlier start to its summer season with the launch of flights to Enfidha, Tunisia.

Cardiff Airport is the national airport for Wales and a key gateway to the UK, welcoming over 1.58 million passengers annually. 18 airlines currently operate at Cardiff Airport, with over 50 direct routes available and a further 900+ connecting destinations accessible via key hub airports. Cardiff Airport is a key contributor to the local economy, supporting 1,900 aviation-related jobs and driving over £163m of direct economic benefit to the region.

Friday 22 March 2019

Sleeper seats from Thomas Cook

Image Thomas Cook
The UK's Thomas Cook Airlines has taken a leaf out of Air New Zealand and introduced its own version of the sky couch, which it is calling its Sleeper Seats!

Thomas Cook Airlines’ long-haul routes such as New York and San Francisco will now get a Sleeper Seat which basically transforms a row of three seats into a bed of sorts, designed to allow passengers to start their holiday in a relaxed mode, or indeed come home refreshed!.

The Sleeper Seat is basically a comfy mattress that sits across a row of three seats tucked away at the back of the aircraft, cleverly crafted into a sweet space to stretch out and relax. Of course, just because its called a sleeper seat, you don't have to sleep to use it!  Thomas Cook says it will allow passengers to use the Sleeper Seat how they wish – to sleep, read, watch a film, listen to a podcast or simply sit back, rest and stretch out.

Henry Sunley, Commercial Director at Thomas Cook Airlines says, “We always look for ways to innovate for our customers and Sleeper Seat is a UK first that we are really proud of. It is a fantastic way to transform your flying experience and enjoy some extra comfort when flying in Economy.”

The airline announced the introduction of the Sleeper Seats a week ago and I'm told interest from passengers in the new offering from the airline has been pleasing to them.  It's not known at this stage if the sleeper seats will be introduced on all the Thomas Cook airlines. 



Monday 18 February 2019

Who will buy Thomas Cook's airlines?


Photo Thomas Cook
Speculation is rife in the European aviation industry over who is going to buy troubled Thomas Cook Airlines after the holiday group effectively put the carrier up for sale.

Thomas Cook Group hinted that a sale is on the cards in a recent announcement that a review into all operations was underway.   The company promised the review "which will consider all options to enhance value to shareholders and intensify our strategic focus".  It also stated "Our strategy for the airline has been to profitably grow as a leading European leisure airline with a reliable, customer-focused service. This has involved a continuous review of our cost structure in order to stay competitive in a highly fragmented market."

In total, the group operates a fleet of over 100 aircraft, spread around the four main airlines, Thomas Cook Airlines in the UK, Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia, Thomas Cook Balearics and Germany based Condor.

Tuesday 27 November 2018

Thomas Cook profits warning send shares tumbling

Photo Thomas Cook
One of the UK's leading holiday companies and leisure airlines, Thomas Cook has warned investors that its annual profits will be around £30 million lower than previously expected and announced. It is the company's second profit warning in two months and is blamed on the competitive market and the unusually warm weather the UK experienced earlier this year.

The company reported earnings at its tour operator unit were £88m lower in the year to September, as people delayed booking because of the good weather, although bookings for this winter are also down, around 3% on last years figures. 

Monday 19 November 2018

Thomas Cook offer some special black flyday deals before Black Friday!

One of the UK's leading holiday air carriers, Thomas Cook Airlines has launched some special Black Flyday deals which are on sale now in the run-up to perhaps the ultimate commercialism event of the year, 'Black Friday'.

Regardless of how you feel about the spectre of capitalism, commercialism and greed of Black Friday, there is no doubt that Thomas Cook has some nice discounted fares for this period that you'll need to be fast to nab as the deals end at midnight on 21st, that's this Wednesday night. 

The carrier also has a new Cheap Flight Finder tool on its website, to make it easier to search for the lowest fares with results filtered by departure airport, destination and month.

Thursday 18 October 2018

Thomas Cook and Condor introduce flight only 'Economy Light' fare

To directly compete with the long-haul low-cost carriers, leisure airline Thomas Cook is launching a new 'Economy Light' flight only fare to its long-haul route network.

The new 'Economy Light' follows the typical budget carrier model in that they don't include any hold luggage and passengers can only use online check-in. The fare does include a small cabin bag up to 6kgs as well as a personal item and the onboard experience remains the same for all Economy customers.  

The new base economy light fares are being offered by both Thomas Cook Airlines in the UK and Condor in Germany, Henry Sunley, Commercial Director at Thomas Cook Airlines says, “We wanted to ensure that we provide fares that support the different needs of our customers, which can differ from trip to trip. Economy Light offers an option for those customers who want less amenities for their journey but want to benefit from fantastic cost savings. They are the first fares that we have introduced on a pan-European scale across Thomas Cook Group Airline for our seat-only business.”

Monday 10 September 2018

Worst UK airlines for delays named.

According to a report by Which magazine, around 1.3 million UK air passengers have endured severe delays in the last 12 months alone.

The study said that 13,000 flights to or from UK airports were delayed by three hours or more in 12 months up to June this year.  On average, nearly 3,500 passengers faced lengthy delays each day.

According to the delay report, budget carrier, Easyjet was the worst with 2,618 late flights,  its low-cost-high-fee rival Ryanair was second with 1,868 flights and the former 'world's favourite airline' British Airways was third with 1,668 flights being delayed.

Friday 17 August 2018

Thomas Cook drop Boston service in S19

The UK's holiday airline, Thomas Cook Airlines will be calling a halt to some of its long-haul operations from Manchester next year.

The airline currently serves Boston three times a week during the summer from Manchester but is going to drop the seasonal route from Summer next year. The airline will still operate to  13 destinations in the USA, the Caribbean and Mexico from Manchester, London Gatwick and Glasgow during the summer season 2019.

The airline will also strengthen its core long-haul fleet with an Airbus A330, the new aircraft will have fully refurbished premium and economy cabins, seatback in-flight entertainment and USB charging points. Based at Manchester airport, it increases the Thomas Cook Group Airline fleet of A330-200s to eight and the group airline total long-haul fleet to 27.

Friday 3 August 2018

Thomas Cook Airlines and Air Europa deal

Thomas Cook Group Airline has agreed on an interline deal with Spanish airline, Air Europa, which will enable its passengers to book 14 new destinations on the Spanish mainland.

Thomas Cook Airlines and sister airline Condor will now be able to offer connecting flights via Palma de Mallorca, Ibiza and Las Palmas to destinations such as Salamanca, Santiago de Compostela and Seville.  "This cooperation expands our range of services,” says Christoph Debus, Chief Airlines Officer of Thomas Cook Group Airline. “With Air Europa we have a strong partner that allows us to offer our customers new holiday destinations on the Spanish mainland. Furthermore, our guests can take advantage of new flight connections between the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands. If, for example, a direct flight to Lanzarote is no longer available, the chosen holiday destination can still be booked at the preferred time via a connecting flight from Las Palmas."