Thomas Cook Collapses

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by J-2739, 21 Sep 2019.

  1. Darandio

    Darandio Established Member

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    Just a quick update on this. Several Thomas Cook aircraft are in operation this morning as part of the repatriation.
     
  2. richw

    richw Established Member

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    But are July and August when the most income actually come? Yes it’s when most holiday but many book and pay months in advance, so they’d have had the money months ago?
     
  3. westcoaster

    westcoaster Established Member

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    These are most likely the leased avion express aircraft in TC livery.
     
  4. PeterC

    PeterC Established Member

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    Thomes Cook owned / operated or hired in with Thomas Cook branding?
    EDIT
    Westcoaster beat me to it
     
  5. DavidGrain

    DavidGrain Member

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    An aircraft can be arrested (yes that is the correct word) by an airport in payment of debts. The last Thomas Cook flight would have taken off from Orlando before 2am UK time which is why it was able to land at Manchester in daylight. Obviously therefore it is in the airlines interests to get as many of their aircraft back home before any announcement is made. This why the thomas Cook announcement was made at 2.00am.

    Any aircraft flying in Thomas Cook livery today would not be owned by Thomas Cook but owned by a leasing company who could fly them either under their own licence and insurance or lease them out to another airline who would operate them under charter to the CAA.
     
  6. cactustwirly

    cactustwirly Established Member

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    These are the leased Smartlynx and Avion Express planes, operated under Titan Airways AOC and probably using their crew.
     
  7. sprunt

    sprunt Member

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    In addition to the point that other people have made about the collapse not coming as a surprise, there is a British consulate in Palma, so it wouldn't have taken any organising beyond booking a taxi to the airport.
     
  8. Wolfie

    Wolfie Established Member

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    Interesting. Who is actually operating them?
     
  9. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    The lessor, they are aircraft in TC livery operated by different companies as a "wet lease" on their behalf.

    (A "wet lease" is rather like the railway hiring a rail replacement coach - you get the coach and driver for a paid-for period of time and mileage and you get to say what is done with it, but it's done by them on your behalf).
     
  10. cactustwirly

    cactustwirly Established Member

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    It's a bit more complicated than that, since I the Aircraft are owned by Smartlynx and Avion Express, but they are operated by Titan Airways, using former Thomas Cook cabin crew or something like that.

    All the Thomas Cook Aircraft, were impounded when they landed on Sunday night, and therefore cannot be used by the CAA
     
  11. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    The TC cabin crew are no longer actually TC cabin crew (though may be wearing their old uniforms). They have been made redundant from TC but have been offered short term contracts by Titan Airways.
     
  12. cactustwirly

    cactustwirly Established Member

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    Hence why I said former Thomas Cook cabin crew.
     
  13. richw

    richw Established Member

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    it was no surprise. It was well publicised last week they had to raise £200m by Sunday night or it was game over. The government would have put plans in place ready to go.
     
  14. Ken H

    Ken H Established Member

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    EU competition law would ban that. State aid rules.
     
  15. Ken H

    Ken H Established Member

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    debts will be massive. Loads of landing fees and staff costs and planes on long leases. No assets, it will all be leased or rented.
     
  16. FQTV

    FQTV Member

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    It wouldn't, which is why Air Berlin was assisted by the German government into a managed wind-down, and the German government is also involved with the current situation pertaining to the German operations of Thomas Cook, including Condor Airlines.
     
  17. Ken H

    Ken H Established Member

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    its an outdated business model. people do independent travel now. or buy online. And they were being undercut by jet2. Running all those high street shops was probably an overhead the business could not bear.
     
  18. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    Not true. The Gov't could choose to help if it wanted to.

    What is stopping it would be the horrendous waste of taxpayers money attempting to save a (probably) unrescuable business.
     
  19. Ken H

    Ken H Established Member

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    Maybe the directors should be in court for perhaps trading while insolvent? Maybe their remuneration was misusing company funds. allegedly, perhaps etc
     
  20. FQTV

    FQTV Member

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    I suspect that any Select Committee (for example) would want to look at the actual costs of Project Matterhorn, versus a model such as I reference above with Air Berlin. To over-simplify slightly in the case of AB, the German government effectively supported the airline into a managed wind-up, avoiding the need for wholesale cancellation of planned operations, until such time as other operators had either taken over obligations or there were no forward bookings left to support. It was certainly an interesting model, and would only have been applicable to the airline operations of TC, but it may have limited the ATOL/taxpayer liability and used TC's own continuing resource to manage the repatriation requirements, with ATOL paying out for unconsumed hotel stays in progress, and refunds on forward bookings.

    By the same token, the German government might also investigate whether a Project Matterhorn type operation might be better than their approach, of course.
     
  21. Ken H

    Ken H Established Member

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    One also wonder why credit card firms also continued to allow TC to take CCards. For they will be liable for much of the refunds.
     
  22. FQTV

    FQTV Member

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    Like all business models, change is constantly required, but to suggest that Thomas Cook's model was 'outdated' is likely to be very wide of the mark. The key issue was debt, and arguably poor management. Just like for high street retail in general, the internet is used as a bogeyman to divert attention from bad operations and unnecessarily high overheads such as sky-high rents instead of freeholds being retained on bricks and mortar outlets.

    The multi billion pound combined turnovers of 'outdated' companies such as Thomas Cook, TUI and even the likes of Hays Travel does not suggest that there is no continuing market for face-to-face and fully-managed travel, no matter how much 'new' business the internet might have facilitated or driven.
     
  23. FQTV

    FQTV Member

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    Because, as anyone in business should, they manage risk and insure or hedge accordingly. It's up to the card acquirers and the merchant account agreements to decide how swiftly they pass on funds; indeed it's likely that payments from the latter days of operation would not have been remitted to the merchant anyway.
     
  24. Ken H

    Ken H Established Member

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    But it looks like they have been in trouble for quite a while.
     
  25. TheEdge

    TheEdge Established Member

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    This is a growing issue all over the place. Norwich City centre is starting to suffer badly from this and shops are just leaving. Even seemingly successful stores are shutting up as they just can't afford the rents and rates. One ever emptying shopping arcade has resorted to giving away free shops to try and fill units
     
  26. curlcurlimp

    curlcurlimp Member

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    It's outdated in my opinion at least because more and more people (including my wife and I) do everything on line ourselves. Nowadays you don't need human interaction to book flights, accommodation or hire cars. How on earth they still had 500 shops in the UK is beyond me.
     
  27. Tetchytyke

    Tetchytyke Established Member

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    Not everyone does everything online. Online is great if you know where you're going, but if you want ideas then you can't beat speaking to a real person. I booked my honeymoon in a (Virgin Holidays) shop going to Sri Lanka purely because of the enthusiasm of the agent. It is a fabulous country and I'd have never considered it.

    The shops aren't why they went bust. The debt is.
     
  28. curlcurlimp

    curlcurlimp Member

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    Sadly I fear that you and your wife are in the minority. They certainly paid too much for their acquisitions (which were already struggling to record a profit) but ultimately their business model was flawed.
     
  29. WestCoast

    WestCoast Established Member

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    Agreed, I think there is still a market for agents if done well, Virgin Holidays has been steadily opening stores including concessions within stores like Debenhams and Tesco. It's never going to be the same scale as the 1970s to early 2000s with many branches on every high street but they will continue to exist in some capacity. Part of the reason that package holidays are still appealing to many is the support you get from real people you can talk to; whether that be at booking, people to meet you on arrival and someone to talk to while you're away. High street agents like Barrhead Travel, Hays Travel and Flight Centre seem to be doing okay reselling flights/package tours from other firms, however I imagine that allows them to focus on their stores turning a profit rather than running a humongous support operation.
     
  30. thejuggler

    thejuggler Member

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    We had great service from TC when booking cruises 10 or so years ago. I'd go in with my phone and show them the best price I could get on various cabins.

    The cruise companies would release different cabins to different outlets. On more than one occasion TC had access to book guaranteed cabin (choose the grade, not the location) which wasn't an option available on line. They were far cheaper than any offer I could find.
     

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