Independent travel agent Hays Travel said today it will buy 555 stores from Thomas Cook a fortnight after the holiday company collapsed.
Sunderland-based Hays has already recruited 421 former Thomas Cook staff and has offered employment to more of the airline’s personnel.
All passengers who were stuck abroad have been returned to the UK. The deal will boost the high street presence of Hays, the UK’s largest independent travel group.
Former Thomas Cook cabin crew protesting outside the Manchester Convention Centre at the Conservative Party Conference on September 30
‘This represents an important step in the liquidation process, as we seek to realise the company’s assets,’ said David Chapman, the official receiver of Thomas Cook.
‘The agreement will see Hays Travel acquire a total of 555 stores around the UK, providing re-employment opportunities for a significant number of former employees of Thomas Cook’s retail operations who were made redundant.’
Thomas Cook collapsed last month, stranding hundreds of thousands of holidaymakers and sparking the largest peacetime repatriation effort in UK history.
People who booked with Thomas Cook arrive back at Gatwick Airport on September 23
People stand outside the Peterborough headquarters of Thomas Cook on September 23
In total, around 600,000 customers were left stranded following the collapse of the 178-year-oldHays Travel company less than three weeks ago.
This included around 140,000 who had been due to return to Germany. The company’s demise sparked 22,000 job losses worldwide.