Thomas Cook sees dip trigger job cuts

TOUR operator Thomas Cook yesterday warned of job cuts as it prepares for “substantial” cost savings.

The group said it would be looking at its UK workforce of between 13,000 and 15,000 staff and suppliers as a cuts package was drawn up.

Thomas Cook said it had been forced into the measures as government spending cuts loom.

An estimated £10m hole in the company’s profits was caused by strike and ash cloud disruption.

Consumers have also been tightening their belts as the public sector faces a cull while the World Cup and the ash cloud crisis also hit traveller numbers.

Thomas Cook chief executive Manny Fontenla-Novoa confirmed there would be job losses, but said it was too early to reveal numbers.

He said: “The review is looking at everything from the bottom up and top down. Of course that includes staff, but also suppliers and our overhead structures.”

Thomas Cook was also hit by technical difficulties among its 100-strong aircraft fleet during the peak August holiday season, which it said would impact underlying operating profits.

However, the company said it was seeing encouraging winter 2010/11 bookings, up 13 per cent in the UK over the last month and up four per cent cumulatively. Average selling prices of the company’s holidays have risen one per cent, it said.