Thomas Cook tipped for relaunch as online-only travel agent
Iconic travel agent Thomas Cook could be relaunched as early as this month, a year after the firm went bust in dramatic circumstances.
Sky News reported that Chinese conglomerate Fosun, which bought the company’s name and intellectual property assets for just £11m, is drawing up plans to reinvent the 178-year-old firm as an online travel agent.
An announcement on the move could be made as early as this week, if Fosun can get the necessary regulatory permissions.
If the launch does go ahead this month, it will come as the travel industry battles the worst crisis in its history, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to decimate the industry around the world.
Hays Travel, which took over Thomas Cook’s UK stores, has announced that it will make 878 staff redundant due to the pandemic.
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Meanwhile, Anglo-German tour operator Tui has said it will close 166 high street stores and cut 270 jobs as a result of the downturn.
Currently, the industry is united in attempts to convince the UK government that its quarantine approach is endangering its survival and urging it to adopt a combination of airport testing and regional travel corridors as well.
A debate on the matter in parliament is scheduled for Thursday, with many backbench Tories expected to voice their support for the plan.
According to the report, the relaunched Thomas Cook would not operate its own airline, high street shops or hotels.
When the firm went bust last year, it precipitated a scramble to get holidaymakers back to the UK in what was the largest ever repatriation of UK citizens.