The Thomas Cook Group’s budget tour-operating brand Aspro could be the subject of a management buyout or sold off, with informed speculation in the industry favouring a buyout.

The trade-only brand, acquired by Thomas Cook as a result of the merger with MyTravel, sells strongly in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Manchester.

However, it is similar to Thomas Cook’s Sunset brand, which the group has already confirmed it will retain while declining to comment on the future of Aspro.

Sources suggest an imminent management buyout is unlikely.

But rumours that former MyTravel executives Steve Barrass and Phil Aird-Mash have considered the possibility of a buyout appear wide of the mark. Both are currently involved in integrating the MyTravel businesses with Thomas Cook.

The group has yet to announce long-term positions for the pair, although Thomas Cook group chief executive Manny Fontenla-Novoa has said publicly he would like to retain them.

A Thomas Cook spokeswoman said: “We cannot comment on rumour and speculation.”