Creditors of collapsed Thomas Cook Group to receive £280m

Creditors of Thomas Cook Group can expect to receive £280 million five years after the collapse of what was then the UK’s second largest travel company.

The Official Receiver announced plans to return the figure recovered to creditors of the Thomas Cook group of companies, which went into liquidation in September 2019 after last-minute efforts to secure a rescue deal failed.

The group is made up of 57 different businesses in liquidation, “not all of which will make payments to creditors and the payments made will be at different rates for each company,” according to a notice issued by the Insolvency Service on Monday.

More: Updated: Thomas Cook ‘close to being sold to Polish OTA’

“It is expected that eligible creditors will be paid before the end of September 2024.”

A Thomas Cook Claims Site was established in 2021 to enable creditors to submit their claims.

“Those creditors who have not yet done so, should submit their claim through the site no later than 2 August 2024,” the Insolvency Service said.

The plunge into liquidation triggered the country’s biggest peacetime repatriation by the Civil Aviation Authority, returning 140,000 UK-based Thomas Cook customers who were still abroad when the collapse occurred.

The failure cost a record amount of almost £350 million in Atol payments. 

The group employed 22,000 people at the time, including 9,000 in the UK.

The Insolvency Service said: “Following the collapse of the Thomas Cook group of companies, the Official Receiver has worked hard across a complex group of liquidations to realise all available assets for the benefit of creditors.

“This has included a broad range of assets including the sale of airport slots, hotel investments and high street stores which were owned across the group of companies.”

David Chapman, who was appointed as Official Receiver and Liquidator of the Thomas Cook Group, said: “I understand that a lot of people lost money following the collapse of Thomas Cook. 

“My team has been working hard to finalise the liquidation, maximising funds which can now be distributed to creditors.

“I would encourage creditors to visit the dedicated Thomas Cook claims site to check the position regarding their claim as soon as possible, so we can consider whether they should receive any part of the funds being distributed.”

Airport slots at Gatwick and Bristol airport belonging to Thomas Cook were sold to EasyJet for £36 million, while Jet2 took over slots at Manchester, Birmingham and Stansted for an undisclosed sum.

Hays Travel acquired the entire Thomas Cook retail estate of 555 shops and recruited more than 420 former staff at the time.

The Thomas Cook brand was acquired by Club Med’s Chinese owner Fosun International two months after the failure to relaunch the brand as an online business just ahead of the Covid pandemic.

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