178 years old British travel firm Thomas Cook collapses but no impact on India business

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Published: September 23, 2019 10:40:25 AM

One of the world’s oldest travel and leisure companies Thomas Cook filed for compulsory liquidation on Monday after failing to secure a bailout from lenders.

The 178-years-old travel firm took a hit by flourishing online competition and was reeling under 1.7 billion pounds of debt.

One of the world’s oldest travel and leisure companies Thomas Cook filed for compulsory liquidation on Monday after failing to secure a bailout from lenders. However, the India branch of Thomas Cook will continue to function as “it is a completely different entity since August 2012,” Madhavan Menon, Chairman and Managing Director, Thomas Cook India, said in a statement. Thomas Cook India Group was acquired by Fairfax Financial Holdings, a Canada-based multinational with varied interests. The latter acquired a 100% stake in Thomas Cook India and hence, the Thomas Cook UK is no longer a promoter of the India subsidiary. 

As the company ceased operations and Thomas Cook flights were cancelled, millions of travellers across the globe were left in a frenzy. The British government will now undertake one of its largest repatriation measures to bring back about 6 lakh stranded holidaymakers across the globe. The 178-years-old travel firm took a hit by flourishing online competition and was reeling under 1.7 billion pounds of debt, CNBC reported. The company has requested that its shares be delisted from trading on the main market of the London Stock Exchange (LSE) with immediate effect.

“We have worked exhaustively in the past few days to resolve the outstanding issues on an agreement to secure Thomas Cook’s future for its employees, customers and suppliers.  Although a deal had been largely agreed, an additional facility requested in the last few days of negotiations presented a challenge that ultimately proved insurmountable,” Peter Fankhauser, Chief Executive Officer, Thomas Cook Group, said in a statement released early on Monday morning.

Thomas Cook, which was founded in 1841, has been operating since before the two world-wars and ran local rail excursions before morphing into a behemoth in package holidays and mass tourism. The company operated hotels, resorts and airlines for 19 million people annually across 16 countries. 

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