On­line re­vival of Thomas Cook brand nears lift-off

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By Rhi­an­non Curry

THE Chi­nese con­glom­er­ate that snapped up the Thomas Cook brand af­ter it col­lapsed into liq­ui­da­tion last sum­mer is thought to be close to a re­launch of the com­pany.

Fo­sun will un­veil its plans to run Thomas Cook as an on­line travel agent as soon as this month, ac­cord­ing to Sky News.

In­sid­ers have sug­gested that an an­nounce­ment about the re­vival of the 178-year-old brand could be made in the com­ing days, as long as Fo­sun se­cures the nec­es­sary reg­u­la­tory ap­provals. It would also be sub­ject to the in­tro­duc­tion of any fur­ther quar­an­tin­ing re­stric­tions on Bri­tish cit­i­zens.

The new­est it­er­a­tion of the com­pany would not op­er­ate its own air­line, shops on the high street or ho­tels, and would en­ter a hol­i­day in­dus­try un­der un­prece­dented strain.

Its ri­vals will be keen to see how it re-es­tab­lishes it­self in pop­u­lar Euro­pean mar­kets, par­tic­u­larly in Spain, which was tra­di­tion­ally Thomas Cook’s largest re­gion for Bri­tish hol­i­day­mak­ers but faces ex­tra quar­an­tine mea­sures at present.

Fo­sun has re­port­edly re­cruited a num­ber of for­mer Thomas Cook ex­ec­u­tives to work on the brand’s re­launch, and is un­der­stood to have set aside a sig­nif­i­cant bud­get for mar­ket­ing.

It is likely that the Civil Avi­a­tion Au­thor­ity will have to ap­prove the new op­er­a­tion be­fore it can go live.

A spokesman for Thomas Cook de­clined to com­ment on the tim­ing of the an­nounce­ment.

Thomas Cook’s col­lapse a year ago prompted thou­sands of job losses and left cus­tomers stranded across the world, re­sult­ing in the big­gest ever peace­time repa­tri­a­tion of Bri­tish cit­i­zens.

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