New start-up tour operation Sunny Heart Travel has hired more former Thomas Cook staff and joined Protected Trust Services.

Sunny Heart Travel is poised to launch this autumn as an online tour operator, after being set up by a team of former Thomas Cook staff.

The operator has taken on Ed Almeida, former senior technical project manager at Thomas  Cook, as its new head of projects and former Thomas Cook creative designer manager Roger Miller, who will manage the creation of Sunny Heart’s blog and social media advertising on a freelance basis.

Lucy Roberts, former Thomas Cook content copywriter, and Kathryn Glover, former inhouse photographer for Thomas Cook, are writing content for Sunny Heart’s website and blog on a freelance basis.

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Sunny Heart chief executive Steve Bentzen, former Thomas Cook IT programme manager, said: “I am hopeful after launch we will be expanding the permanent workforce.”

The company has an Atol for 1,000 passengers initially and registered its name and logo under the Sunny Heart Travel brand.

Its decision to join PTS means it will be able to offer a trust account solution to protect customer monies.

“We believe the trust account Atol model provides a greater level of financial assurance to the customer, by ensuring all payments are held in trust,” said Bentzen.

PTS has now signed off 80 companies as new members since the start of lockdown and reported an increase in the number of bigger, and established, players joining its ranks.

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