Abta’s chief executive has praised Thomas Cook’s handling of the sudden deaths of a British couple John and Susan Cooper in Egypt.

In a blog post published today, Mark Tanzer said Cook’s response to the tragedy “shows its commitment to their customers”.

Susan, 63, who worked at Thomas Cook’s Burnley branch, and husband John, 69, died on August 21 while on a Cook holiday at the Steigenberger Aqua Magic hotel.

Cook evacuated 300 of its guests as a precautionary measure and offered to fly customers home early.

Details surrounding the couple’s deaths remain unclear.

This week Cook chief executive Peter Fankhauser flew out to Egypt to meet the country’s prime minister to discuss the deaths.

Tanzer said: “I, along with everyone at Abta, was shocked and saddened to hear of the deaths of John and Susan Cooper while they were on holiday in Hurghada last week. Our deep sympathies are with their family, their friends and Mrs Cooper’s colleagues at Thomas Cook.

“It is tragic when a customer death occurs on holiday, and how a travel company responds is a test of its values and professionalism. The response of Thomas Cook in immediately sending their head of customer welfare to support the family, and in evacuating and repatriating 300 guests as a precautionary measure while investigations proceed, shows their commitment to their customers’ welfare.

“And the fact that Thomas Cook’s chief executive, Peter Fankhauser, has flown to Egypt to meet with the Egyptian prime minister today shows the priority that they, and he personally, give to matters of health and safety.”

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