Hundreds of jobs saved in Thomas Cook deal

Hundreds of jobs have been saved in the travel industry thanks to the UK’s largest independent travel firm.

Monday, 14th October 2019, 12:39 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th October 2019, 1:40 pm
John Hays and Irene Hays, of Hays Travel.
John Hays and Irene Hays, of Hays Travel.

Hays Travel agreed a deal last week to buy Thomas Cook’s high street shops – which could save up to 2,500 jobs at the firm which went into receivership.

Hays Travel will acquire the entire retail portfolio of 555 former Thomas Cook shops after it signed a deal with the Official Receiver and Special Managers from KPMG.

The company has already employed more than 25 per cent of the former Thomas Cook retail employees and is proposing to re-open the stores, including in North Tyneside, with immediate effect where possible and to take on up to 2,500 people.

After Thomas Cook was placed in compulsory liquidation on September 23, Hays Travel – at the invitation of the Civil Aviation Authority – immediately responded to support thousands of customers on holiday or with holidays booked.

They also offered jobs to over 600 former Thomas Cook employees, and offered to help all of the Thomas Cook apprentices to complete their training at the Ofsted accredited Hays Travel Academy.

Hays Travel is jointly owned and managed by John Hays, Managing Director, and Irene Hays, Chair of the Hays Travel Group.

Irene said: "Thomas Cook was a much-loved brand and a pillar of the UK and the global travel industry.

“We will build on the good things Thomas Cook had – not least its people – and that will put us in even better stead for the future.

"We all share a passion for the travel industry and we want to continue to

build the company’s reputation for first class service and being a great place to work and develop a career."

John said: "Our staff were devastated to hear about Thomas Cook and we all immediately felt we wanted to help.

"In the last two weeks we have already employed or offered jobs to around 600 former Thomas Cook colleagues, and it has been a very emotional experience for them.

"Now that we are able to re-open the shops, we are looking forward to welcoming many more people who share our passion for the travel industry, into our family business.

"I'm very proud of the fantastic team who have helped me build Hays Travel over almost 40 years and they have worked tirelessly over the last couple of weeks to bring this about.

"It is a game-changer for us, almost 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."

The team supporting Hays Travel throughout included lawyers Muckle LLP, financial advisers White Hart Associates and property consultants Identity Consult.