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Thomas Cook relaunch: What has changed and where is the firm flying to?
The travel giant collapsed in September 2019 after the company failed to clear a debt burden of £1.1 billion.
However, the 178-year-old travel group is being given a new lease of life after Chinese firm Fosun Tourism Group acquired it for £11 million.
But what do these changes mean, and which travel destinations will the firm fly to?
The company is still using its original name and logo, however, an insider revealed to Sky News that plans to make the brand a refreshed name were at an advanced stage.
From Wednesday, customers can book holidays over the phone and online via the Thomas Cook website. The company currently employs 50 people.
The shift to selling online means that the brand is now able to offer 24/7 on-holiday customer care.
Many may be concerned with putting their money in the hands of a firm that went bust a year ago, but the company has assured customers their money will be ‘held in a trust account administrated by the Air Travel Trust’ and that Thomas Cook does ‘not have access to the trust directly’.
Alan French, who was group strategy and technology director at Thomas Cook when it collapsed, has been hired as UK chief executive of the new travel agency and described the relaunch as ‘an honour’.
He said: ‘We have reinvented one of the most recognisable names in British travel. Our new business will combine fantastic UK-based customer service with an updated operating model protected by Atol and with the backing of a multibillion-dollar organisation.
‘We are launching now clearly aware of the short-term challenges posed by the pandemic. We and our Fosun backers are taking the long view and we want to offer choice, customisation and 24/7 on-holiday customer care to families who wish to travel now and in the future.’
There are currently no plans to reopen any physical Thomas Cook stores.
The brand has decided to shift their holiday sales to the online market.
The new brand only offers trips to destinations that UK holidaymakers can return from without facing quarantine.
The current destination list includes Italy, Turkey, parts of Greece, Cyprus, Ireland, Estonia, Iceland, and Denmark.
Further countries will be added when UK government restrictions are lifted.
Customers are able to choose from room-only to all-inclusive options, across three, four and five-star hotels.
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