Ryanair has launched an attack on Thomas Cook, asking it to justify overcharging customers.
Thomas Cook has posted an upbeat quarterly trading statement, saying it is confident of meeting full-year expectations. It also reported a smaller-than-expected operating loss for the first quarter.The group, Europe’s second-biggest travel firm, said it had gained by taking capacity out of the market to avoid having to sell cut-price holidays in the lates market. Its ability to switch its destination mix to non-Euro destinations including Turkey and Egypt as Sterling weakened contributed to its bullish trading.
Thomas Cook has said it is exercising an option to buy Lufthansa’s 24.9% stake in Condor for EUR77.19 million.The agreement between Lufthansa and KarstadtQuelle AG, now known as Arcandor AG, the majority owner of Thomas Cook was drafted in December 2006. Under the terms, Thomas Cook has the right to exercise a purchase option at any time after 9 February 2009.
Thomas Cook is launching a digital campaign running across Microsoft‘s consumer network including Hotmail and MSN Today.The campaign runs until March and involves branding Thomas Cook across MSN Today and Windows Live Hotmail, behavioural targeting with Microsoft Media Networks and an editorial special on the MSN Travel channel.
Thomas Cook chief executive Manny Fontenla-Novoa received a performance-related bonus of £5 million and pay rise of 34% last year.According to the company’s 2008 annual report, Fontenla-Novoa’s salary increased from a base salary of £633,000 to £850,000 during the October 2007 to October 2008 financial year.
Consolidation within the UK bedbank market continues after Thomas Cook confirmed its acquisition of Med Hotels from lastminute.com for an undisclosed fee.Following months of on-off negotiations, the deal is expected to be completed by 2 February and aims to strengthen the group’s position as the UK’s leading accommodation-only supplier.
Thomas Cook Airlines is introducing a third aircraft to its base at Newcastle Airport. The addition of the Boeing 757-200, which carries 235 passengers, means that approximately 70,000 new seats will be available from the local airport for summer 2009, making it the largest package holiday operator out of the region’s airport. The extra services will help fill the void left by XL Group’s collapse, which resulted in the loss of 12 routes from Newcastle.
Thomas Cook has bought long-haul tour operator Gold Medal International, paying £24.9m upfront, and up to a further £62.1m as an earn-out. The acquisition depends on competition clearance and is expected to be completed early next year.
Thomas Cookis set to buy Med Hotels from lastminute.com for an undisclosed sum this week in a deal that is likely to allow the online travel retailer to sell Thomas Cook holidays online for the first time.
With hundreds of thousands of Britons now researching their holidaysonline, Thomas Cook has launched a new interactive websitewww.thomascookinspires.com,designed to make choosing a destination and resort even easier.
Thomas Cook has revealed the findings ofits 2006 survey into the cost of living in the world’s leading holiday resorts.
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