Budget airline Easyjet has bought the take-off and landing slots of collapsed travel company Thomas Cook at London Gatwick and Bristol airports for £36m.
The company announced today it has bought 12 summer slot pairs and eight winter slot pairs at Gatwick and six summer slot pairs and one winter slot pair at Bristol, in the first sale of Thomas Cook’s slot portfolio since the travel agent failed in September.
The UK business and airline of Thomas Cook entered immediate insolvency two months ago, leaving thousands of passengers stranded abroad.
A court appointed an official receiver to oversee the liquidation of its assets.
Hays Travel purchased Thomas Cook’s travel agent shops last month and Chinese investment conglomerate Fosun snapped up the Thomas Cook brand for £11m last week.
Hong Kong-listed Fosun also acquired subsidiary brands such as boutique hotel chain Casa Cook and beach hotel concept Cook’s Club, as well as all intellectual property assets associated with the Thomas Cook brand such as trademarks, domain names and software applications. The deal will allow Fosun to establish an online travel agent under Thomas Cook’s branding.
The company’s Nordic business was rescued in October.
Former Thomas Cook bosses were grilled by MPs last month following the collapse of the 178-year-old firm.
Ex-chairman Frank Meysman pointed the finger at the government saying it could have done more to keep the firm afloat.
However, permanent secretary of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Alex Chisholm said the government declined to offer a financial bailout, saying it was not a “viable and sustainable” situation.
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