U.K.-based Hays Travel has agreed to acquire Thomas Cook's
entire U.K. retail holdings.
Under the deal, Hays Travel will take over 555 Thomas Cook
stores and has pledged to create re-employment opportunities "for a
significant number of former employees of Thomas Cook's retail operations."
Thus far, Hays Travel has recruited 421 former Thomas Cook
personnel, with additional employment offers currently being extended. In
total, Hays Travel expects to absorb up to 2,500 former employees of the
collapsed travel group, doubling its current workforce.
In a statement, Hays Travel co-owner and managing director
John Hays said, "Our staff was devastated to hear about Thomas Cook and we
all immediately felt we wanted to help. In the last two weeks, we have already
employed or offered jobs to around 600 former Thomas Cook colleagues. Now that
we are able to reopen the shops, we are looking forward to welcoming many more
people who share our passion for the travel industry into our family business."
Headquartered in Sunderland, U.K., Hays Travel has an
existing network of 190 retail stores and more than 240 home-based travel
advisors. The 40-year-old company reported sales of more than £1 billion ($1.22
billion) last year.
Hays Travel also runs the Hays Travel Independence Group, a
consortium of independent travel agents, and business subsidiary Just Go