Thomas Cook has reassured staff that the majority will retain their jobs following news of a £200 million refinancing deal.
Chief executive Sam Weihagen would not reveal how many jobs could be under threat if shops are closed but in an interview with BBC Breakfast this morning said: “We have secured a lot more jobs than had we not done this deal. If we perform well I think most of our staff will still be there.”
Up to 100 shops are known to be trading unprofitably and it is thought 200 could close, if reports last weekend were correct.
Weihagen admitted the company had suffered a 30% drop in sales since news broke this week that the company was in trouble but still claimed the company had had more bookings than it expected because of “loyal customers and suppliers”.
He brushed off attempts by rivals to capitalise on its woes, following Tui Travel’s decision to run an advertisement for Thomson, which claimed it was a safe company to book with while others might be struggling.
“Thomson is doing what is best for them. We could have done the same thing. It’s up to customers whether they book Thomson or Thomas Cook,” added Weihagen.
Weighagen also admitted that the reason the UK business had not been peforming as well as other parts of the company was for a mixture of reasons, including “management issues” referring to the departure of former chief executive Manny Fontenla-Novoa this summer and product not being as competitive as it could be.
“It was important we got this additional support from the banks. In order to make sure we can get back to nomral we need to strengthen our balance sheet and our debts,” he said.
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