Hays Travel Pledge To Buy Out Thomas Cook – BinaryOptions

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Hays to buy Thomas Cook’s UK stores in reprieve for up to 2,500 staff

Hays Travel will buy all of Thomas Cook’s British travel agent shops, potentially saving up to 2,500 jobs and providing a rare boost for high streets across the UK.

Thomas Cook, the world’s oldest travel company whose shops have been a feature of UK town centres for generations, collapsed last month.

Tens of thousands of passengers were stranded as its UK business went into liquidation.

Hays Travel will buy all 555 stores as part of a deal brokered by insolvency advisers KPMG, and the privately-owned travel firm will look to re-employ former employees from Thomas Cook’s retail operations.

It also rejected the notion that high street travel agents are dying.

“We’re a successful business and because we’re independent and offer all tour operators, then we are optimistic that we will trade well in all of the shops,” founder John Hays told reporters after the deal.

Thomas Cook collapsed after it became unable to service its debts.

It also failed to convince banks to back a rescue plan in the face of changing customer habits and intense competition from low-cost airlines and internet companies.

It had created the largest chain of travel agents in Britain when it merged its retail operations with those of the Co-operative Group and the Midlands Co-operative Society in 2020.

Hays Travel, a family company which is jointly owned and managed by Managing Director John Hays and Chair Irene Hays, will now be taking that network on.

The 40-year-old firm based in Sunderland in reached sales of more than £1 billion in 2020.

Its management said it was optimistic the shops would prosper thanks to the firm’s distinctive approach, where employees have free rein to give each branch a distinctive character, often built through social media.

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“The death of the high street travel is a question we’ve been asked for many years, but we feel we do something different to other high street travel agents,” John Hays told reporters.

“We live in a digital world. The Web was their enemy (at Thomas Cook), whereas if you ask the Hays Travel member of staff, they would say the Web is their friend, because we interact positively with it,” Mr Hays added.

Hays Travel currently operates just 190 of its own branches across the UK, employing 1,900 people.

The company said it had no plans to close any shops, but would evaluate the performance of each store going forward.

Hays Travel did not disclose financial details of the deal, other than saying it had been funded without taking on any debt.

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary last week said the business models of both tour operators and travel agents were dead as no young people bought holidays from them.

Irene Hays said her company’s data showed differently.

“There has been a huge resurgence in package holidays in recent years,” she told reporters.

“It’s evident, it’s in all of our metrics. So the answer is no, we do not agree with Michael O’Leary,” she added.

Thomas Cook refund website targeted by fraudsters

Fraudsters are suspected of targeting a website created to refund Thomas Cook customers, the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has said.

The aviation regulator said it has taken “urgent action” over the suspicious online activity and will inform the police.

It has added further verification checks to its refund process and pledged to seek prosecutions where there is evidence of deception.

Some of the concern is understood to have risen from a series of low-level claims, which often indicates fraud.

Around 100,000 claims have been made since the website went live on Monday morning.

It was set up to enable people with Atol-protected bookings for Thomas Cook holidays due to begin after the firm collapsed on September 23 to obtain refunds.

This relates to more than 360,000 bookings covering trips set to be taken by 800,000 people.

Atol-protected customers who were already abroad when Thomas Cook failed can also claim for the cost of replacing the parts of their holiday which were financially protected, or out-of-pocket expenses for delayed flights.

The CAA is aiming to pay refunds within 60 days of receiving a valid form and wants to crack down on fraudulent activity to avoid any delay.

Deirdre Hutton, who chairs the organisation, said: “This morning we have taken urgent action in response to what we believe is attempted fraudulent activity in relation to refunds for Thomas Cook customers”.

“If you have made a claim directly with us, then your claim is being processed and you do not need to take any action,” she said.

“Please help us to combat the risk of fraud by not submitting your details to any other website. Our focus is on getting money back to the right people as soon as possible and combating fraud in every way possible,” she added.

The CAA was forced to apologise on Monday after its system struggled to cope with “unprecedented demand” in the hours after it launched.

Many people received an error message after entering their details, meaning their claims were not submitted.

Reprieve for Thomas Cook’s UK stores as Hays Travel deal saves up to 2,500 jobs

LONDON (Reuters) – Hays Travel will buy all of Thomas Cook’s TCG.D British travel agent shops, potentially saving up to 2,500 jobs and providing a rare boost for high streets across the country.

Thomas Cook, the world’s oldest travel company whose shops have been a feature of British town centers for generations, collapsed last month, stranding tens of thousands of passengers as its UK business went into liquidation.

Hays Travel will buy all 555 stores as part of a deal brokered by insolvency advisers KPMG, and the privately-owned travel firm will look to re-employ former employees from Thomas Cook’s retail operations.

It also rejected the notion that high street travel agents are dying.

“We’re a successful business and because we’re independent and offer all tour operators, then we are optimistic that we will trade well . in all of the shops,” founder John Hays told reporters after the deal.

Thomas Cook collapsed after it became unable to service its debts and failed to convince banks to back a rescue plan in the face of changing customer habits and intense competition from low-cost airlines and internet companies.

It had created the largest chain of travel agents in Britain when it merged its retail operations with those of the Co-operative Group and the Midlands Co-operative Society in 2020.

Hays Travel, a family company which is jointly owned and managed by Managing Director John Hays and Chair Irene Hays, will now be taking that network on.

DIGITAL WORLD

The 40-year-old firm based in Sunderland in north-east England reached sales of more than 1 billion pounds ($1.2 billion) in 2020.

Its management said it was optimistic the shops would prosper thanks to the firm’s distinctive approach, where employees have free rein to give each branch a distinctive character, often built through social media.

“The death of the high street travel is a question we’ve been asked for many years, but we feel we do something different to other high street travel agents,” John Hays told reporters.

“We live in a digital world . The Web was their enemy (at Thomas Cook), whereas if you ask the Hays Travel member of staff, they would say the Web is their friend, because we interact positively with it.”

Hays Travel currently operates just 190 of its own branches across the United Kingdom, employing 1,900 people.

The company said it had no plans to close any shops, but would evaluate the performance of each store going forward.

Hays Travel did not disclose financial details of the deal, other than saying it had been funded without taking on any debt.

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary ( RYA.I ) last week said the business models of both tour operators and travel agents were dead as no young people bought holidays from them.

Irene Hays said her company’s data showed differently.

“There has been a huge resurgence in package holidays in recent years,” she told reporters. “It’s evident, it’s in all of our metrics. So the answer is no, we do not agree with Michael O’Leary.”

Reporting by Alistair Smout in London, additional reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru, Editing by Alexander Smith and Mark Potter

Hays Travel to buy 555 Thomas Cook stores: UK’s largest independent travel agent ‘set to save 2500 jobs’

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A rival travel agency is set to buy hundreds of Thomas Cook stores after it collapsed last month, potentially saving up to 2,500 further jobs.

The UK’s largest independent travel agent Hays Travel announced today it will buy all 555 stores from the holiday company.

The move could potentially save thousands of jobs after 9,000 staff lost out when the company went into administration last month.

Hays Travel has told Sky News it had already taken on 494 former Thomas Cook employees.

The collapse of one of the world’s best known holiday brands prompted a repatriation exercise to recover more than 150,000 stranded holiday makers.

Hays told the BBC it planned to reopen all the shops with immediate effect, adding to the 190 stores to its portfolio.

Irene Hays, chair of Sunderland-based Hays, said: “Thomas Cook was a much-loved brand and a pillar of the UK and the global travel industry.

“We will build on the good things Thomas Cook had – not least its people – and that will put us in even better stead for the future”.

Official Receiver David Chapman said the property deal, for an undisclosed sum, would provide opportunities for a “significant number” of former Thomas Cook workers.

“I am pleased to announce we have reached an agreement with Hays Travel to acquire Thomas Cook’s entire UK retail estate, comprising 555 stores across the country.

“This represents an important step in the liquidation process, as we seek to realise the company’s assets.”

John and Irene Hays, managing director and group chair of Hays Travel Limited, told Sky: “Thomas Cook was a much-loved brand employing talented people. We look forward to working with many of them.”

Mr Hays told the BBC: “It is a game-changer for us, almost trebling the number of shops we have and doubling our workforce – and for the industry, which will get to keep some of its most talented people. Our staff were devastated to hear about Thomas Cook and we all immediately felt we wanted to help.”

Hays reveal plan for the future – ‘It’s not the new Thomas Cook, its Hays Travel now’

HAYS TRAVEL has begun its new chapter opening five of its repurchased 550 Thomas Cook stores. Owners John and Irene Hays have spoken about how they will set themselves apart from other high street travel agents and provide a boost to the 421 people it has saved from unemployment.

Hays Travel owners John and Irene Hays appeared on Good Morning Britain this morning following the reopening of five of the Thomas Cook stores they rescued to discuss their plans for the future. The Sunderland-based travel agent has purchased 555 of Thomas Cook’s stores which were at risk of sitting empty following a sudden administration. Following the closure 150,000 Thomas Cook staff were left out of work and without pay. Reports circulated telling the harrowing tale of former employees faced with no pay being forced to use food banks.

Hays Travel: John and Irene Hays revealed plans for the future (Image: Good Morning Britain )

“The difference with us between most high street travel agents is that we embrace the internet”

However, good news came in the form of Hays Travel who decided to repurchase all of the closed Thomas Cook stores, reopening them under the Hays Travel name. As part of the move 421 jobs were saved.

The business duo behind the travel agent this morning explained how they will 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.

They explained that customers often search online for the type of deal they want, and then reach out either by social media or in person, to see if Hays Travel can find them a better deal and help streamline the booking process.

When it comes to chatting with customers, the travel agency opts for a more authentic process on social media.

Irene Hays said: “We don’t have a style guide, we just trust them [staff] to use it.”

The bosses also went on to explain how this is a new beginning.

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

Hays Travel: The Sunderland-based firm saved Thomas Cook staff from unemployment (Image: Good Morning Britain)

Thomas Cook Staff: Unemployed staff protest the sudden closure of stores (Image: Getty Images)

Hays Travel was set up almost 40 years ago in Seaham, country Durham, by John Hays.

He opened shop behind his other’s independent clothing store in 1980 and hasn’t looked back.

Hays currently works with tour operators including Jet2 and TUI.

Since 2020 the firm has reached a turnover of £1billion.

The addition of 555 high street stores will boost the firm’s existing 190 shops.

A former Thomas Cook staff member who has had her job saved by Hays said: “ Absolutely amazing. Can’t thank John and Irene enough for what they’ve done.

“They’ve saved a family.

“One minute out of a job. And the next euphoria – you’ve been given a job the following night. I could have cried. So so happy

Along with the rescued staff, Britons across the country have rejoiced at the move.

Speaking about the positive feedback Irene Hays emotionally said: “We’re really overcome by it all.”

Members of the public also took to Twitter to thank the firm.

One Twitter user commented: “@HaysTravel news so heartening-makes me want to use them and venture into the high street to book holidays. Our beloved high streets are becoming retail graveyards.

“I have to change the way I shop even for holidays it appears.”

Meanwhile, another wrote: “kudos @HaysTravel we use their excellent shop in @ManorWalks Cramlington. Staff helpful, friendly & knowledgeable. Hopefully, this means some #thomascookstaff will be re-employed.”

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