Thomas Cook revival as OTA ‘imminent’

Thomas Cook could relaunch as an online travel agent in the coming days, according to reports.

The company, which ceased trading last year after 178 years in business, will be revived by Chinese conglomerate Fosun, which was the largest stakeholder in the firm, said Sky News.

Reporting the “imminent relaunch” was at an “advanced stage”, it added that any revival would depend on the company “securing the necessary regulatory approvals” and the government’s next quarantine announcement.

Fosun acquired the Thomas Cook brand for £11million in November last year, following the travel giant’s collapse.

The deal also included Cook’s hotel brands Casa Cook and Cook’s Club, in addition to rights, title and interest in certain trademarks, domain names, software applications, social media accounts and licences.

The Chinese conglomerate, which also owns Club Med, recruited a team of industry executives in January as it prepared to relaunch as an online travel agent.

At the time, the team of 15 people was understood to include former Thomas Cook group strategy and technology director Alan French as chief executive; former head of sales, e-commerce and marketing Phil Gardner as chief commercial officer; and former finance executive Raj Sharma as chief financial officer.

Speaking in January, a digital expert told Travel Weekly: “Even though the dust hasn’t settled on the collapse of Thomas Cook in the UK, the brand is still extremely favoured elsewhere, particularly in Asia. And even in the UK, the natural traffic the Thomas Cook name will be getting still is massive. It’s cheaper to redesign, rebuild and redress a brand as big as Thomas Cook than start from scratch.”


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