Thomas Cook set for online relaunch – firm bought for £11m

Thomas Cook could be set for an online-only relaunch just one month after it went under. The news comes as the brand name is purchased for £11 million by former shareholder Fosun. One month ago the 175-year-old travel agency went into administration after an inability to pay off rising debts. The firm’s collapse left 150,000 passengers stranded abroad at the time, sparking a huge repatriation effort.


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Thomas Cook’s demise resulted in a bill of £100 million for the government as the CAA got to work bringing home British holidaymakers.

Now Fosun has signed a deal to take on the Thomas Cook brand name, with plans to use it on their own website.

The Chinese firm will market its own holidays, as well as take over all Thomas Cook brand hotels, Casa Cook and Cook’s Club.

Qian Jiannong, chairman of Fosun tourism group, said: “The group has always believed in the brand value of Thomas Cook.

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“The acquisition of the Thomas Cook brand will enable the group to expand its tourism business building on the extensive brand awareness of Thomas Cook and the robust growth momentum of Chinese outbound tourism.”

According to Travel Weekly Fosun was not the only firm that put forward a bid for the Thomas Cook brand.

Joint liquidator AlixPartners, working alongside KPMG, rejected Tui’s approach on the basis that the company did not want to own the Thomas Cook brand outright.

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What happened when Thomas Cook went bust?

Thomas Cook went into administration in September after failing to secure £200 million from lenders.

It’s demise lead to thousands of Britons having to be repatriated back to British soil.

The CAA employed roughly 130 aircraft and around 1,000 journeys between 23 September and 6 October to bring holidaymakers home.

However, the government also ensured that no holiday would be cut short.

The CAA also employed what it described as its biggest ever ATOL refund programme, to reunite travellers with cancelled plans with their money.


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Hays Travel stepped in to purchase the empty high street shops 

The travel agent’s downfall also saw staff suddenly out of work, with many having to utilise food banks after a cut in pay.

Luckily Sunderland-based travel agency Hays Travel stepped in and purchased 555 stores destined for closure, saving 421 Thomas Cook jobs.

Appearing on ITV’s Good Morning Britain John and Irene Hays, the duo behind the travel agency, said this is a new beginning for Thomas Cook.

“It’s not the new Thomas Cook, its Hays Travel now,” said John.

Hays went on to explain plans to tackle the business in a brand new way that sets them apart from the crowd.

“The difference with us between most high street travel agents is that we embrace the internet, and two out of three of our customers have engaged with us digitally before booking, and rightly so,” explained John Hays.

He went on to say how Hays Travel prioritise the use of social media when communicating with customers, and revealed this actually benefits them.

“Our staff love the internet really,” he said. “Most people on the high street would say they hate the internet and certainly the Thomas Cook staff did.”

Hays instead thank the internet for bringing customers to them.

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