THOMAS Cook and Kuoni have flatly denied rumours of
merger talks.

Speculation emerged at the weekend that the two groups
were looking at a merger, headed up by Thomas Cook group chief executive Stefan
Pichler, amid claims they had held talks in March to set up an airline
distribution agreement.

Thomas Cook claimed it had “no idea” where
the story had come from and that Pichler was equally surprised by the claims.

A spokesman said it was normal for operators to
consider “common issues” but added: “We are not in merger talks
with Kuoni. It is definitely not true.”