British firm Hays Travel said that it will buy all 555 stores owned by the former travel company, Thomas Cook, in the United Kingdom on October 9. According to Hays, nearly 2,500 jobs at Thomas Cook which shut down on September 23 can be saved if they agree to buy the company's high street shops. It will only be confirmed after former Thomas Cook signs a deal with Official Receiver and Special Managers from KPMG. Moreover, Hays claims that it has already provided jobs to more than 25 per cent of the former company.
According to the official receiver, who is handling the winding-up process of Thomas Cook, David Chapman, this deal represents an important step in the process of liquidation which involves seeking the assets of the company. Hays is proposing to re-open the UK stores with immediate effect, which will further make it possible to take in 2,500 former employees and will enable the company to offer hundred new jobs based on the company's Sunderland headquarters and the rest in the shops across the UK. On the invitation of the Civil Aviation Authority, Hays Travel immediately responded for the help of thousands of customers who were left stranded due to the company's liquidation.
The chair of Hays Travel's group board, Irene Hays called the former 178-year-old travel company as a “much-loved brand” and being a pillar of the country as well as the global travel industry. Hays wants to build further, on the “good things” that Thomas Cook had including its people. He further believes that this deal will put Hays Travel in even better stead for the future. Hays also believes that they have a passion for the travel industry similar to Thomas Cook and wishes to continue to build the reputation of the company.
The CEO of Hays Travel, John Hays 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.”
The British tour company, Thomas Cook has collapsed on September 23, with immediate effect after its failure to secure rescue funding, and travel bookings for more than 6,00,000 global travellers. According to the British government, it would be the largest deportation in its peacetime history when all 150,000 British travellers abroad, will return. The process of repatriation is planned to begin later today and officials said that delays are inevitable. The Civil Aviation Authority has also said that Thomas Cook has ceased training and its all four airlines will be grounded. This collapse has resulted in the loss of jobs for 21,000 employees in 16 countries and out of which 9,000 are in the UK.