The speed at which the Thomas Cook and MyTravel merger progresses depends on European Commission regulators, future joint chief executive Manny Fontnela-Novoa has stressed.

Fontenla-Novoa is hopeful there will be no hold-up. “We are not complacent, but we believe it will be approved – hopefully, in the first phase.”

The EC may refer the issue to the UK authorities. However, Fontenla-Novoa believes the merger will be looked at in Brussels because the companies also overlap in Ireland.

Previous attempts at consolidation have been vetoed by the EC, but he said: “We can put a very good case. The market has changed dramatically.”

He dismissed suggestions that Thomas Cook had taken over MyTravel.

“It is definitely a merger. We want to take the best of both companies and create a new organisation. We are not going to dovetail MyTravel into Thomas Cook.”