This week in: Featuring Cosmos Holidays, First Choice and Court Line

We take a look through the Travel Weekly archives in our 50th year to find out what was making the headlines 10, 25 and 45 years ago.

September 4, 2009

Clive Jacobs was interviewed by Travel Weekly’s Ian Taylor for the first time since taking ownership of the then TWgroup. Jacobs, founder of Holiday Autos, said business publishing had a strong future but stressed the need for the right business model and a focused, driven team. He predicted a significant proportion of consumers would become increasingly environmentally conscious, and forecast the trade would need to take the domestic market more seriously.

• Two reports revealed more than a quarter of all operators ran at a loss. Travel analyst Plimsoll said 283 out of 1,000 operators made a loss, while 234 agencies out of 814 also ran at a loss.

Cosmos Tourama said it was to follow in the footsteps of sister operator Cosmos Holidays by becoming a trade-only brand

August 24, 1994

mcewan-abta• Angry agents claimed they had not been offered an extra penny by First Choice, the former Owners Abroad, despite a claim by its chief executive Francis Baron that every agent would be paid more for supporting the operator in the six weeks following its planned launch in summer 1995.

• In an exclusive, Travel Weekly warned that small airlines could be squeezed out of distribution systems because of a multimillion-pound bill to introduce three‑letter airline codes.

Thomas Cook’s Peter Shanks defended its decision to offer all-inclusives in Spain for 1995, saying: “All-inclusives are the way the market will go.”

• On the letters page, agents moaned about the scramble by operators to launch summer brochures first. CS Randell, of CSR Travel in Birmingham, compared the battle to “small boys in a school playground squabbling over a bag of marbles”.

August 22, 1974

mcewan-abta• Travel News analysed the collapse of Court Line, reporting that last-ditch talks to avert a winding down of the travel company and its brands ended at 6pm on August 15. Around 50,000 customers – 40,000 booked with Clarksons and 10,000 with Horizon and 4S – were affected. Court Line directors blamed last year’s oil crisis and economic difficulties for its failure.

• Staff, including former Halcyon Horizon chief executive Sydney Perez, toiled away at a ‘rescue’ HQ in London to repatriate customers and an Abta delegation was sent to Spain to talk to tourism officials and hoteliers affected by the collapse.

• It was also reported that before Court Line’s collapse, talks had already begun between Abta and the Department of Trade to introduce a “topping up” fund, through a per‑passenger levy, to strengthen Abta’s bonding arrangements.

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