Barrhead Travel announces plans for 100 new stores

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This week rival Hays Travel announced it was buying all 555 Thomas Cook shops in the United Kingdom, adding that it had already offered jobs to 600 former staff.

Rival travel agent Hays Travel looks "to employ as many Thomas Cook staff as possible".

All 555 Thomas Cook stores are to be bought by Hays Travel, it has been revealed.

British Airways announced the launch of a new flight from London's Gatwick Airport to the Turkish resort of Antalya on Wednesday, once one of Thomas Cook's most popular routes, as airlines jostle to fill the void left by its collapse.

John Hays, who set up the the company 40 years ago, said: "It is a game-changer for us, nearly 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".

Mr Hays and his wife Irene still own the business they set up in 1980, employing 1,900 staff.

Thomas Cook's demise was the result of a multitude of factors, but at the core was a mountain of debt that was just too costly to service.

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After the announcement on 23rd September that the company had entered compulsory liquidation, numerous companies and individuals have come forward to support former employees of the travel agent, hotels and airline operator. "This represents an important step in the liquidation process, as we seek to realise the company's assets".

Jim Tucker, Partner at KPMG and Joint Special Manager of Thomas Cook's Retail division, said: "This is an extremely positive outcome, and we are delighted to have secured this agreement".

"Here at the new Hays Travel Bangor branch we are very sad over the recent collapse of Thomas Cook, the news has hit us particularly hard as we all worked at the Thomas Cook Bangor store", it said.

Reacting to the news, RSM's head of travel and tourism Ian Bell said it could "well prove to be a shrewd move for Hays", but added a note of caution.

"It's a good thing for those working in those Thomas Cook shops", Tanzer told me before he hurried back to his group.

The 40-year-old Sunderland-based company reached sales of more than UKP1 billion in 2018 and celebrated by sharing UKP1m with its 1900 employees, who each received UKP100 for every year they'd worked there.

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