EasyJet has spent £36 million to take over Thomas Cook Airlines’ take off and landing slots at Gatwick and Bristol airports.

The price paid is more than three times more than the £11 million Chinese conglomerate Fosun paid for the Thomas Cook brand a week ago.

The UK budget carrier is one of a number known to have been competing for the slots following the failure of the travel group in September.

The deal covers 12 summer slot pairs and eight winter slot pairs at Gatwick and six summer slot pairs and one winter slot pair at Bristol.

“Contractual terms have concluded and the slots have been awarded to easyJet,” the airline said.

“We will provide further details in the airline’s full year results announcement on 19 November 2019.”

The slot sale is part of a process of disposal of Thomas Cook assets.

Thomas Cook’s Manchester airport slots have yet to be sold.

A government statement said: “The Official Receiver and special managers from KPMG UK have confirmed that airport slots at London Gatwick and Bristol airport belonging to Thomas Cook have been sold and transferred to easyJet.

“This transaction marks the first to be announced in relation to Thomas Cook’s UK airport slots portfolio. The sale price was £36 million.

“This outcome has been facilitated by the collaborative approach of Thomas Cook’s commercial partners at UK airports and the support of both internal and external slot co-ordinators.”

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