Thomas Cook reassures customers after bank bail out deal

Troubled holiday firm Thomas Cook have reassured customers that their holidays are in ‘safe hands’ following news of an extra £100million lifeline loan from its banks last week.

 

The firm however may still be axing 200 of its 1,100 UK shops and slash 1,000 jobs in a bid to cut its huge debt.

 

This week the company launched a publicity drive after negative headlines may have stopped holidaymakers from booking with the firm.

 

UK bookings plunged by 30 per cent last week following fears over the group’s future.

 

Sam Weihagen the interim chief executive for Thomas Cook will publish a letter in national newspapers telling potential customers it’s safe to book holidays with them.

 

The letter will begin: “What a week it has been for Thomas Cook”, adding that it is now “an even stronger and confident company” and customers “can be sure that your holiday really is in safe hands”.

 

He claims the company is the “recognised and established name in the industry”, and his words play on the 170-year-old company’s history.

 

Last week the company’s share price dropped by a staggering 75 per cent following fears of a possible collapse.

 

However company shares rose by 30 per cent yesterday after the announcement of an extra £100million lifeline given to them by their banks Friday night.

 

The company’s group of banks approved the £200 million funding plan, which includes: Barclays, HSBC, RBS and UniCredit, which like last until April 30 2013.

 

This will replace the short-term facility of £100 million, which was announced on October 21 2011.

 

Mr Weihagen announced that new management had been put in place in the UK, where trade has been suffering.

 

“The UK business this year has not really performed as good as we had hoped and not as good as competitors have performed and that was a management issue so we have replaced the management team in the UK and started a turnaround plan”.
He added “I’m very confident that plan will make sure our UK businesses will return to a much better profitability over time”.

 

Article by Charlotte Greenhalgh