Thomas Cook slashes 2,800 UK jobs

  Thomas Cook Group
will slash up to 2,800 jobs in the UK as a result of the firms merger with MyTravel. This involves the closure of six offices and 150 high street stores.

The company’s headquarters at Rochdale will also be closed and functions transferred to Peterborough. Calls centres and a distribution centre will also close.

The cuts have been earmarked in a bid to to save the company £95 million as part of the merger deal.

The group plans to keep Thomas Cook as its main retail brand, with the Going Places brand retained in towns that will have more than one store.

The newly formed group between KarstadtQuelle AG’s Thomas Cook holiday division and UK rival MyTravel also reported a reduction in first half losses Wednesday to 177 million euros saying it expects results for full year 2007 results to be in line with its expectations.


Full Statement

Thomas Cook Group plc proposals for integration of its UK and Ireland business

Thomas Cook Group plc today announced its proposed UK & Ireland location, retail and branding strategies. These plans are a key step in the integration of the former MyTravel and Thomas Cook businesses, which merged on 19 June 2007, contributing to the achievement of synergies of at least £95 million (€140 million).

Under the proposals announced today, the Group’s divisional head office would be in Peterborough, with six UK sites to close.

The retail network is currently being reviewed with a view to reducing the network by 150 stores to around 800 stores. It is proposed that the main retail brand would be Thomas Cook, with the Going Places brand retained in towns that will have more than one store.

The company expects that if the proposals go ahead, an estimated 2,500-2,800 roles will ultimately be affected.

The Group’s key holiday brands will include Airtours, Direct Holidays, Manos, Panorama, Sunset, and Thomas Cook, as well as specialist brands.

The combined aircraft fleet will operate under the brand of Thomas Cook Airlines.

The integration process is expected to involve the closure of six sites and a number of stores, the Group has stressed to employees that where possible redeployment opportunities will be offered to all affected staff.

Manny Fontenla-Novoa, Joint Chief Executive, Thomas Cook Group plc said:  “Today’s announcement is about a significant UK reorganisation.  As many as possible of those whose roles are potentially affected by today’s news will be offered the opportunity for redeployment within the business, as we are absolutely committed to retaining the skills and experience of all our workforce. However, we appreciate that some employees will either not want to take up our offer of redeployment or will not be able to do so. For those employees we will provide appropriate redundancy packages and full support.

“It is only a week since the merger was completed. Our priority has been to communicate integration proposals to our employees as soon as we could. Today we have put in place a comprehensive employee consultation programme to support our people through the integration process. We will do everything we can to support those employees who are affected through the next few months.”