Published: Thu, October 10, 2019
Economy | By

Hays Travel Purchases Empty Thomas Cook Shops

Hays Travel Purchases Empty Thomas Cook Shops

Hays Travel has already employed 421 ex-Thomas Cook employees.

Hays Travel has already employed 421 members of Thomas Cook staff since the travel group went out of business last month and has now sealed a deal to buy all of the stricken travel group's 555 United Kingdom shops.

Hays Travel, which claims it is the UK's largest independent travel agent, has acquired all the Thomas Cook stores and said it will re-employ a "significant number" of former employees. Might as well, seeing as they'll have the keys and know the passwords etc.

"It is a game-changer for us, nearly trebling the number of shops we have and doubling our workforce - and for the industry, which will get to keep some of its most talented people", said founder John Hays.

Hays Travel, based in Sunderland, says it plans to re-open the stores with immediate effect where possible and to take on up to 2,500 people.

Thomas Cook collapsed last month.

"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 United Kingdom high street".

Hays was founded in County Durham 40 years ago and reached £1 billion in sales last year.

The move has been welcomed by Manuel Cortes, general secretary of the travel union TSSA, which represented workers in Thomas Cook shops around the United Kingdom and in its head office in Peterborough.

David Chapman, the Official Receiver, described the sale to Hays Travel as an "important step" in unravelling the finances of the 178-year-old chain.

Manuel Cortes, general secretary of the TSSA union which represents Thomas Cook's store workers, said he was seeking an urgent meeting with Hays to figure out how the union can help with the "significant expansion".

Britain's government on Monday completed the country's biggest peacetime repatriation, returning 140,000 UK-based Thomas Cook customers stranded overseas by the company's bankruptcy.

The company's demise sparked 22,000 job losses worldwide.

It declared bankruptcy on September 23 after failing to secure fresh funds.

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