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-   -   Thomas Cook Enters Compulsory Liquidation (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/other-european-airlines/1988392-thomas-cook-enters-compulsory-liquidation.html)

neilah Sep 22, 19 7:33 pm

Thomas Cook Enters Compulsory Liquidation
 
Just saw the headline notification from France24.

Sorry to anyone affected.

MSPeconomist Sep 22, 19 7:34 pm

The UK seems to have arrangements in place to rescue stranded s travelers, at no additional cost to the customers.

neilah Sep 22, 19 7:44 pm

FT says 150,000 travelers stranded.

From the article...

“...[stranded holidaymakers are now] ... reliant on an effort by the government’s Civil Aviation Authority to put together the biggest emergency repatriation in peacetime.”

usbusinesstraveller Sep 22, 19 7:46 pm

This is now all that's on the TC website - http://cdn.thomascook.com/status.html


Thomas Cook UK Plc and associated UK entities have entered Compulsory Liquidation and are now under the control of the Official Receiver.

The UK business has ceased trading with immediate effect and all future flights and holidays are cancelled.

A dedicated support service is being provided by The Civil Aviation Authority to assist customers currently overseas and those in the UK with future bookings.

Please visit: www.thomascook.caa.co.uk
Note that as I write this the CAA webpage is broken. Maybe it's overloaded or maybe they haven't quite got it up and running at 2.45am UK time.

transportprof Sep 22, 19 8:05 pm

Can anyone blame this on the 737 Max?

Sealink Sep 22, 19 8:06 pm

https://scdn.thomascook.com/tclogo.png
Thomas Cook UK Plc and associated UK entities have entered Compulsory Liquidation and are now under the control of the Official Receiver.





The UK business has ceased trading with immediate effect and all future flights and holidays are cancelled.





A dedicated support service is being provided by The Civil Aviation Authority to assist customers currently overseas and those in the UK with future bookings.





Please visit: www.thomascook.caa.co.uk for further information.


MSPeconomist Sep 22, 19 8:22 pm

R I P

Mwenenzi Sep 22, 19 8:29 pm

BBC https://www.bbc.com/news/business-49791249

Thomas Cook has collapsed after last-minute negotiations aimed at saving the 178-year-old holiday firm failed.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said the tour operator has "ceased trading with immediate effect".

It has also triggered the biggest ever peacetime repatriation aimed at bringing more than 150,000 British holidaymakers home
<snip>
BA thread https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/brit...customers.html

AS Condor thread https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/alas...20-2017-a.html
Condor is owned by ThomasCook

roberto.triviani Sep 22, 19 9:06 pm

As Condor is owned by Thomas Cook, I still see them selling flights online as of now.

Will Condor cease all operations? Or while it is owned by Thomas Cook it will continue to operate and be owned by the liquidators?

notquiteaff Sep 22, 19 9:22 pm


Originally Posted by roberto.triviani (Post 31552706)
As Condor is owned by Thomas Cook, I still see them selling flights online as of now.

Will Condor cease all operations? Or while it is owned by Thomas Cook it will continue to operate and be owned by the liquidators?

For now they are operating all flights. They have applied for German-government-guaranteed loan to deal with liquidity issues.

I am booked on a Condor flight tomorrow, so I am monitoring this closely.

DaveS Sep 22, 19 9:33 pm

A very sad day indeed. It is a great shame that something could not be done to save this company. My best wishes to the thousands of staff and undoubtedly many more in support companies that are affected.

iflyjetz Sep 22, 19 9:42 pm

Wow. I hadn't heard anything about them having financial difficulties. Makes one wonder how many more European airlines are teetering on the edge of insolvency.

DaveS Sep 22, 19 10:09 pm


Originally Posted by iflyjetz (Post 31552779)
Wow. I hadn't heard anything about them having financial difficulties. Makes one wonder how many more European airlines are teetering on the edge of insolvency.

They had been in trouble for a year or two. A rescue almost made it over the line, but ultimately failed because they could not raise £200M by the end of yesterday. I think the repatriation and other costs will be £600M from what I have seen reported. Then the costs of all the job losses, not only the 22,000 TC staff but the unknown number of support staff/companies. Mr/Mrs tax payer and the economy in general are going to foot a very large bill. The government hide behind the principal of not intervening in the private sector, with good reason. But with something as big as this, I think something should have been done. Maybe it was beyond salvation even with the rescue package, we will never know.

notquiteaff Sep 22, 19 10:23 pm


Originally Posted by iflyjetz (Post 31552779)
Wow. I hadn't heard anything about them having financial difficulties. Makes one wonder how many more European airlines are teetering on the edge of insolvency.

They are/were more than an airline. I don’t have the breakdown, but I would guess the bulk of their business was packaged holidays. Their financial difficulties have been known for years. I think there are at least four airline subsidiaries... Thomas Cook UK, Thomas Cook Balearics, Thomas Cook Scandinavia, and Condor (Germany). According to media reports, all or some of the airlines themselves were actually profitable, but the packaged holiday business was dragging everything down due to an outdated business model relying heavily on brick and mortar travel agencies.

For now, at least Condor continues to operate. The UK airline has ceased operations. Not sure about the other two.

DaveS Sep 22, 19 10:35 pm

Their UK aircraft are being impounded by the airports because of unpaid fees.

Concerto Sep 22, 19 10:43 pm

I was surprised a thread about Thomas Cook’s difficulties hadn’t been started before.. I guess I should have started one! I was getting newsfeeds all weekend about the probability Thomas Cook wouldn’t make it to Monday. With this and Monarch a couple of years ago, the last icon of travel from my youth has disappeared.

We can’t blame the old fashioned bricks and mortar travel agent model for this, it worked for a good number of years since the turn of the century. Many travel agents have done a smart job of reinventing themselves for this new age. The real issue here is total managerial incompetence, the hallmark of everything these days because top jobs seem to be awarded in unclear and dishonest ways. A couple of BBC links, apologies if already provided. The second one is quite interesting because it provides a potted history of the company:

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-49791249

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-49789073

synergistic Sep 22, 19 11:06 pm

Oof. Have (had) PE tickets booked for 6 October to get us home from Europe. Chase benefits claiming that they changed their terms in August, removing supplier insolvency from the list of covered issues. Too tired to figure anything else out, but it does appear that the only flights that will be operating will be getting folks back to the UK, and we'll need to make other arrangements. So it goes...

Concerto Sep 22, 19 11:12 pm

You mean your credit card doesn’t even protect you any more? You see, this bankruptcy thing is becoming so ridiculous that nobody believes it any more, whether companies or individuals. Really, it wouldn’t surprise me if the credit cards start withdrawing these protections.

I don’t give Condor in Germany much hope for success, don’t reckon they’ll last long now unless Lufty step in and do something. And let’s not forget Adria Airways, which looked like it was at the end too a couple of days ago (nothing compared to the size of Thomas Cook, mind you).

Love them or hate them, it’s going to be Ryanair and easyJet running the show going forward.

Gig103 Sep 22, 19 11:47 pm


Originally Posted by Concerto (Post 31552892)
I was surprised a thread about Thomas Cookís difficulties hadnít been started before.. I guess I should have started one! I was getting newsfeeds all weekend about the probability Thomas Cook wouldnít make it to Monday. With this and Monarch a couple of years ago, the last icon of travel from my youth has disappeared.

We canít blame the old fashioned bricks and mortar travel agent model for this, it worked for a good number of years since the turn of the century. Many travel agents have done a smart job of reinventing themselves for this new age. The real issue here is total managerial incompetence, the hallmark of everything these days because top jobs seem to be awarded in unclear and dishonest ways. A couple of BBC links, apologies if already provided. The second one is quite interesting because it provides a potted history of the company:

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-49791249

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-49789073


Originally Posted by synergistic (Post 31552924)
Oof. Have (had) PE tickets booked for 6 October to get us home from Europe. Chase benefits claiming that they changed their terms in August, removing supplier insolvency from the list of covered issues. Too tired to figure anything else out, but it does appear that the only flights that will be operating will be getting folks back to the UK, and we'll need to make other arrangements. So it goes...

Is that under trip insurance? Not delivering your vacation package or flight seems like a very clear case for a chargeback. I guess the difference being if you can get other non-refundable costs refunded?

SK AAR Sep 23, 19 12:07 am

Indeed, I believe the poster is talking about insurance coverage provided by Chase - I doubt Chase would be able to revoke (in general) the possibility of a charge back in case of insolvency of the vendor.

tecate55 Sep 23, 19 12:29 am


Originally Posted by transportprof (Post 31552570)
Can anyone blame this on the 737 Max?

If anything, it helped them out: travellers had fewer other options for holidays, but TC had its own planes and could charge more while enjoying better loads.

the 737MAX grounding will make repatriation a bit harder since other airlines soaked up a lot of charter aircraft and have incorporated them into their regular schedules.

Bohinjska Bistrica Sep 23, 19 12:38 am

Apparently 40 aircraft have been chartered by the CAA to repatriate those affected. A fairly reasonable number notwithstanding the 737 MAX issues causing a shortage.

Thoughts with those who will lose their jobs over this. I hope there will be a reasonable resolution for at least some of them if parts of the business can be salvaged, but I fear that it will be a bad outcome for the majority.

Internaut Sep 23, 19 12:38 am


Originally Posted by Concerto (Post 31552938)
You mean your credit card doesnít even protect you any more? You see, this bankruptcy thing is becoming so ridiculous that nobody believes it any more, whether companies or individuals. Really, it wouldnít surprise me if the credit cards start withdrawing these protections.

Oh, you can believe it in some literal sense. My suspicion is someone like Fossum will step in and buy it whole, once the structural problems with the company have been socialised (i.e. the unemployment has been paid and all current/future (as in already paid for) holidays/flights have been wiped off the books).


Originally Posted by Concerto (Post 31552938)
I donít give Condor in Germany much hope for success, donít reckon theyíll last long now unless Lufty step in and do something. And letís not forget Adria Airways, which looked like it was at the end too a couple of days ago (nothing compared to the size of Thomas Cook, mind you).

I understand Condor are fundamentally a good business, so hopefully they will be bought by some one like LH. However, it might make sense for them first to go under (so any issues with the business can be socialised, future promises wiped off the books and so on).


Originally Posted by Concerto (Post 31552938)
Love them or hate them, itís going to be Ryanair and easyJet running the show going forward.

Add Jet2 to that list. They're a proper package holiday company, in a similar vein to Thomas Cook, and their business is in rude health.

My overall point of my response? That's just capitalism for you. It's a brutal old world.

I have my fingers crossed that a lot of the staff will take their statutory redundancy payment and get offered a job (possibly with a "thing" called Thomas Cook) before they've had time to spend it.

largeeyes Sep 23, 19 12:44 am


Originally Posted by iflyjetz (Post 31552779)
Wow. I hadn't heard anything about them having financial difficulties. Makes one wonder how many more European airlines are teetering on the edge of insolvency.

It's been in the news for the last year or so. This isn't a surprise to pretty much anyone and had been expected.

speed.skater Sep 23, 19 12:52 am


Originally Posted by Concerto (Post 31552938)
I donít give Condor in Germany much hope for success, donít reckon theyíll last long now unless Lufty step in and do something.

LH's hands are tied.

They've made a few attempts over the last few years to repurchase Condor. But it seems unlikely due to the restrictions LH would have to accept in order to get approval from antitrust authorities.

Competitors like FR (including Lauda) aren't in the best of shape. Germania just collapsed earlier this year.

Personally, I think it's unikely LH group buys DE. If a buyer is found, I'd expect it to be somebody else.

flyer4512 Sep 23, 19 1:06 am

They are done, all flights are cancelled

speed.skater Sep 23, 19 1:10 am


Originally Posted by flyer4512 (Post 31553125)
They are done, all flights are cancelled

No, part of the discussion was about DE. For now, at least, all DE flights are operating as scheduled. No cancellations.

irishguy28 Sep 23, 19 1:49 am

3 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by transportprof (Post 31552570)
Can anyone blame this on the 737 Max?

Given that they operated an almost all-Airbus fleet (85 Airbus, 31 Boeing), and had no orders for any Boeing 737 Maxes - but then they wouldn't, as they lease aircraft rather than buying - then no.

irishguy28 Sep 23, 19 1:55 am


Originally Posted by tecate55 (Post 31553054)
If anything, it helped them out: travellers had fewer other options for holidays, but TC had its own planes and could charge more while enjoying better loads.

Thomas Cook only owned 5 out of its 116 aircraft; the rest were leased from a total of 38 leasing companies.


Originally Posted by Reuters


Here is a summary of the aircraft operated by Thomas Cook Airlines via four affiliated carriers (source: IBA).

Thomas Cook Airlines UK

———————————-
  • Airbus A320-200 3
  • Airbus A321-200 35
  • Airbus A330-200 8
Total 46

Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia

————————————————
  • Airbus A321-200 8
  • Airbus A330-300 3
Total 11

Thomas Cook Airlines Balearics (Spain)

———————————————————
  • Airbus A320-200 6
Total 6

Condor (Germany)

————————
  • Airbus A320-200 7
  • Airbus A321-200 14
  • Airbus A330-200 1
  • Boeing 757-300 15
  • Boeing 767-300ER 16
Total 53

Grand total 116


Concerto Sep 23, 19 1:59 am

Some interesting comments above. I did not know that Ryanair was not in good shape. Maybe that's just in Germany, but I don't know enough about it. And I had forgotten about Germania, that was a real shame. We will just have to see what happens with Condor. I seem to remember it was always struggling somehow, so I don't think the future will be easy.

And indeed, Jet2 is a major player in the UK now and is a pretty decent airline, I have heard. I had forgotten about them (but somehow remembered FlyGlobeSpan, another embarrassing collapse). But the bell has tolled for all those companies that were part of my young life in the 80s and 90s: Danair, British Caledonian, Air UK, bmi British Midland, Monarch Crown Service/Monarch, and now Thomas Cook. Sorry for the unfocused ramble.

irishguy28 Sep 23, 19 2:05 am


Originally Posted by Concerto (Post 31553213)
Some interesting comments above. I did not know that Ryanair was not in good shape.

The only mention of Ryanair in this thread is in one of your earlier messages.

Therefore, I am not sure what, specifically, you are referring to by saying "Ryanair was not in good shape". They almost collapsed in the late 1980s but it has been onwards and upwards ever since, though with the odd glitch (crewing problems and flight cancellations; staff union problems; closure of bases and elimination of staff due to the non-availability of the 737 Maxes that had been factored into 2019 and 2020 schedules).

speed.skater Sep 23, 19 2:21 am


Originally Posted by irishguy28 (Post 31553221)
Therefore, I am not sure what, specifically, you are referring to by saying "Ryanair was not in good shape".

I wrote they aren't in good shape.

Obv, I don't see them anywhere near bankruptcy. But they have a lot on their plate right now. Pilots and crews which are unhappy with working conditions and salaries; FR is strongly affected by the uncertainties (and possibly massive changes) required due to Brexit; they have an all 737 fleet with lots of MAX aircraft on order, thus they suffer considerably under the grounding.

They're also in bad shape in the sense that their profits are shrinking.

So I think they will not purchase an airline as big as DE which represents like 50% of Thomas Cook's aviation branch outright. I find it more likely DE's competitors let DE go into liquidation. Then, some of these competitors could selectively purchase/lease planes and take on some crews.

-----

EDIT: I guess I forgot about TUI. I could imagine TUI buying some of Thomas Cook's airlines outright.

Concerto Sep 23, 19 3:12 am

Sorry irishguy28, I wasn't very clear again. It was indeed in reference to a comment from speed.skater but it doesn't matter so much now, I suppose. My recent experiences with Ryanair have been pretty good, actually, friendly crews and decent flights. But last week my SXF-CGN flight picked up a 65 minute delay, which I thought was unusual for Ryanair (operated by MALTA AIR in this case).

Have you seen and heard on the Beeb the statement given by Thomas Cook chief Peter Fankhauser?? What planet does he come from? I have to say, just the look of him and the demeanour does not inspire confidence. Nothing to do with actual facts, I know, just a feeling.

And what about the story of holiday makers almost being held hostage in some Tunisian hotel in lieu of payment, probably an exaggeration, but just one of a number of stories reported by the BBC? A repatriation of this size won't go through without some issues along the way, that's for sure. And I'm not sure the public, despite their purported love of the Thomas Cook brand, will be so understanding about all the chaos.

warakorn Sep 23, 19 4:40 am

If the German government committed taxpayer's money to DE, I'd become very angry.
It is not the job of the government to bail out failing businesses.
There is too much capacity in Europe at the moment. The weakest ones will fail.

It's quite unfair towards travel agencies/tour operators/airlines, who have run a better business.

I assume that DE won't operate for much longer, since they are not allowed to carry any Thomas Cook/Bucher Reisen/Neckermann/÷ger Tours packaged tour passengers to their holiday destination. Moreover, DE won't receive any money from its parent company and tour operators (Thomas Cook/Bucher Reisen/Neckermann/÷ger Tours), in case these tour operators declare bankcruptcy.

DE just living off direct booking passengers during the low season that is coming up -> I don't believe that.

Silver Fox Sep 23, 19 4:44 am


Originally Posted by Concerto (Post 31553315)
Sorry irishguy28, I wasn't very clear again. It was indeed in reference to a comment from speed.skater but it doesn't matter so much now, I suppose. My recent experiences with Ryanair have been pretty good, actually, friendly crews and decent flights. But last week my SXF-CGN flight picked up a 65 minute delay, which I thought was unusual for Ryanair (operated by MALTA AIR in this case).

Have you seen and heard on the Beeb the statement given by Thomas Cook chief Peter Fankhauser?? What planet does he come from? I have to say, just the look of him and the demeanour does not inspire confidence. Nothing to do with actual facts, I know, just a feeling.

And what about the story of holiday makers almost being held hostage in some Tunisian hotel in lieu of payment, probably an exaggeration, but just one of a number of stories reported by the BBC? A repatriation of this size won't go through without some issues along the way, that's for sure. And I'm not sure the public, despite their purported love of the Thomas Cook brand, will be so understanding about all the chaos.

Not only a different planet, but a different lifetime. Still, he had in his hand a piece of paper....I am sure he will come out of this just peachy....

EMIC Sep 23, 19 5:05 am

Firstly - to the many thousands who are now without work - hope you can revive your career and prospects quickly.
Secondly - to all the suppliers - globally - who will now have to fight for their monies - ATOL etc does not cover as much as you are led to believe.

What I find extremely ironic - and I am not involved with finance / banks - so my comments are very 'top-line'- is that after securing c900m from a Chinese partner, it was then RBS and Lloyds who apparently then demanded an additional c200m cash for daily operations - so I read it as those two banks demand as being the final straw / nail. The government will not advance a loan of c200 which is one third the cost which may now be paid by the HM Treasury - one so as not to set precedence - secondly it contravenes some EU laws.

Ironic that RBS and Lloyds majority shareholder is..............................the UK Government????? And Condor may still continue to fly as it is applying to the German Government for emergency funding - maybe I missed the news of Germany leaving the EU?

iflyjetz Sep 23, 19 5:40 am


Originally Posted by largeeyes (Post 31553082)
It's been in the news for the last year or so. This isn't a surprise to pretty much anyone and had been expected.

Not a surprise to anyone except quite a few of the 150K stranded and those that had vacations booked.

I've read a lot of articles on different European airlines that have been close to insolvency, and Thomas Cook was never mentioned as an airline on the brink of failure. I wasn't surprised by any of the other European failures over the last couple of years, including XL Airways shutting down. But Thomas Cook was never listed in the aviation news I track.

This leads to the next question: which other European airlines are on thin ice?

warakorn Sep 23, 19 5:53 am

You can be sure that Lufty, Easyjet and some other tour operators in Germany will most likely sue the German Government if the taxpayer loans/guarantess multiple hundred of million of Euros to Condor to keep it afloat.
With Air Berlin -> most stakeholder knew that the money was made available to properly wind down the operations of Air Berlin.

oliver2002 Sep 23, 19 6:15 am


Originally Posted by iflyjetz (Post 31553564)
I've read a lot of articles on different European airlines that have been close to insolvency, and Thomas Cook was never mentioned as an airline on the brink of failure. I wasn't surprised by any of the other European failures over the last couple of years, including XL Airways shutting down. But Thomas Cook was never listed in the aviation news I track.
This leads to the next question: which other European airlines are on thin ice?

TC was already looking to offload the airline operations earlier this year citing falling revenues that couldn't support the urgently required fleet renewal (DE's fleet alone is rather old: 21/20/24 yr old A320/B753/B763).

Lets see... tuifly is limping along, norwegian is living hand to mouth, the smaller ones like EE, Adria and Croatians are technically dead. Charter operators like Lynx, Jetsmart, the Portugese ad-hoc operators like Euro Atlantic and HiFly and some smaller leaner outfits should benefit from the TC loss and the max grounding to help them survive another season.

speed.skater Sep 23, 19 6:24 am


Originally Posted by oliver2002 (Post 31553655)
TC was already looking to offload the airline operations earlier this year citing falling revenues that couldn't support the urgently required fleet renewal (DE's fleet alone is rather old: 21/20/24 yr old A320/B753/B763).

Two points:

One, the planes DE is flying don't belong to them. See the post from irishguy28 above.

Two, Thomas Cook Group Airlines was supposedly in ok-ish shape right until the collapse of the parent. Many people have stopped booking package tours, which is leading to a tough environment and consolidation among package tour operators.

But people still want to travel to PMI, FUE, LAS, PHX, HRG, PUJ, and so on. It's just that fewer tourists are gonna book a package tour. But they don't avoid DE and the other TC group airlines as such.

I'm not saying the market enviroment for Thomas Cook Group Airlines was easy as pie. But they were in better shape than some of the other airlines you mentioned. It's the parent dragging down the affiliates.


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