What has been in the air for a while, it turns out that it really is happening. Airline Thomas Cook is virtually bankrupt and will cease all operations with immediate effect. Something that affects about 600 000 tourists and 22 000 employees of the 178-year-old airline. The fact that it has gone wrong after all these years would be mainly due to the fact that there is too much internet competition. Something the company apparently hasn’t invested enough in.
What about Thomas Cook?
The main company Thomas Cook in the UK stops with immediate effect which is a nightmare for many tourists on holiday. For example, images have surfaced of a hotel owner who doesn’t let anyone out unless they pay 2,000 euros. However, the British Government (150 000 people) has now started ‘Operation Matterhorn’ which is the greatest repatriation ever (in peace time). Unfortunately, people who have not left have yet to see their holidays pass them by.
What about Thomas Cook in Belgium (Neckermann)
What will happen to Thomas Cook Belgium, or better known as Neckermann, is not yet clear. However, it has been communicated that they will remain operational at the moment and will continue to take care of all the trips currently planned. Booking a new trip is currently not possible due to the uncertainty. What is certain is that Neckermann’s market share on the Internet in Belgium is considerably higher than that of Thomas Cook in the United Kingdom. Which may indicate that there may still be a future for Neckermann in Belgium. In what form, that is of course the question. Cooperation with German organisations is one of the possibilities.
What about Condor?
Condor, the German counterpart of Thomas Cook, has already announced via the social media channels that the company will continue to work through a bridging loan that has been applied for by the German government, although it has not yet been approved. There are therefore some interested parties to buy this branch of the company. For example, Tui and Lufthansa are at the front of the queue after previously shown interest.
What about Brussels Airlines?
The consequences for Brussels Airlines will not be known until the coming weeks and months and will depend on what will happen to Neckermann. Since 2017, Brussels Airlines has taken over the activities of Thomas Cook Airlines, enabling Brussels Airlines to expand its offer to more than 30 destinations. In the case of the cancellation of these flights and bookings, Brussels Airlines is also in danger of ending up in lesser papers.
Consequences for hotel chains?
Of course, there will be hotel chains that now suffer a small loss, especially the chains that had a close and almost exclusive partnership with Thomas Cook. However, this damage will be limited, because soon someone will fill the void left by Thomas Cook.