Living Travel Agent Buys Recently Deceased Travel Agent

By Gary Cutlack on at

Hays Travel, which you may have heard of but probably haven't as our reader stats suggest you're 30 years too young to be hanging around in package holiday shops weighing up 11-day cruise options, has come to the rescue of Thomas Cook. Hays has agreed to buy the entire high street portfolio of the broken travel firm from accountants managing the collapse, potentially saving the jobs of as many as 2,500 suited holiday bookers.

It is quite a step up in scale for Hays, which is adorably still operated by John and Irene Hays, who've appointed themselves managing director and group chair respectively. They must have some lovely senior staff meetings over tea and biscuits in the conservatory. The living/operational travel agent says it'll attempt to reopen the dead/closed Thomas Cook outlets "with immediate effect where possible" and where staff are still available, and plans to rehire many of those already let go. Might as well, seeing as they'll have the keys and know the passwords etc.

John Hays is well happy about bagging a big name brand at a once-a-lifetime discount level, and said: "It is a game-changer for us, almost trebling the number of shops we have and doubling our workforce – and for the industry, which will get to keep some of its most talented people. We are looking forward to welcoming many more people who share our passion for the travel industry, into our family business." [The Argus]