The new Thomas Cook and Co-operative Travel retail joint venture is expected to work hard to keep its Freedom Travel and Future Travel group members, according to a founding director.

The partnership, which was announced last month, is due to be officially ratified on December 1 when it is expected to be given approval by European regulators.

Travel technology firm The Vertical Group said it is watching developments with interest as it retains a share in the Co-op’s Freedom Travel Group consortium, of which it is also a member.

Peter Healey, Vertical’s chief executive, said  it remains to be seen what the long-term future holds but he expected any Freedom member, and members of the sister homeworking division Future Travel, to be charmed initially by their new parent.

“I’m comfortable at the moment that the commercial imperatives of the business are as strong for them as they are for us.

“Certainly initially any Freedom members and Future workers will be heavily charmed by any means to get them to give this a chance. In the short term they are going to try to make the members as comfortable as possible.

“The potential for that volume of business to deliver increased margins means members need to be given the opportunity to see if that’s going to be delivered.”

 Healey said at the moment for any “company with a home” there is a “sense of strength in numbers”.

The retail partnership is also due to have implications for other technology providers of the two once rival divisions.

Thomas Cook currently uses Multicom’s Flexibletrips to put together and market tailor-made packages while the Co-op’s system is a combination of Top Dog and Traveltek.

Multicom said they expect the joint venture to opt for one of the two options to move forward with as the solution for the merged firm.