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Hays Travel Updates

For all media enquires please contact (between 9am and 5:30pm Mon-Fri): pressoffice@hays-travel.co.uk or Call: 01918148050 

If your enquiry is out of hours and is urgent please call the press officer on call on: 07949765426 

 

 

UPDATED: 21/11/19

 

HAYS TRAVEL ANNOUNCES 1500 MORE NEW JOBS AND APPRENTICESHIPS

Hays Travel, the UK’s largest independent travel agent, has announced a further 1500 new jobs and apprenticeships.

The roles, which are available now, include 200 new posts at the company’s head office in Sunderland, North East England, and 500 jobs handling foreign currency in each of the new Hays Travel stores around the UK.  There will also be an apprentice taken on at each of Hays Travel’s 737 branches over the coming months.

Joint owners John and Irene Hays have so far employed and offered permanent contracts to 2,330 former Thomas Cook employees and continue to recruit people for the former Thomas Cook stores of which 450 have opened in six weeks.

John, managing director, said: “We’re further increasing staffing to ensure we have the highest customer service levels across all of our stores and our head office functions.  These are fantastic permanent career opportunities for people who want to take a step into an exciting industry where every day is different.  You don’t necessarily need travel experience – just an enthusiasm for travel, a good head for numbers for the foreign exchange posts and some customer service experience of any kind would be helpful.”

The Hays Travel Academy will provide comprehensive training for those who have never been in the industry before – they could have a new career for Christmas.

The news is a welcome boost for the city of Sunderland, near the town of Seaham where John opened his first store almost 40 years ago.   “I’m delighted that we will create 200 more permanent jobs in the heart of Sunderland’s city centre, joining 500 people already at our newly-opened head office building.  They will have the same empowerment and trust that we give all of our colleagues. 

“The former Thomas Cook managers have said the biggest difference for them is being empowered and valued – as an independent travel agent they are not tied to certain products or scripts and they feel trusted.  This is a key principle of our business.”

Apprentices will go through the recognised two-year apprenticeship programme - rated ‘good’ by Ofsted - to kickstart their career in travel.  John added: “We have always recruited, supported and developed young people – they are the future of our industry.  We are looking forward to expanding our apprenticeship programme and making sure there’s at least one travel apprentice on most of the UK’s high streets.”

The company hopes to have discussions with the organisations in the devolved authorities of Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and the Isle of Man, where there is different infrastructure supporting apprenticeships.

There are now 737 Hays Travel shops in total and currently 4,200 people have permanent jobs – the additional posts will potentially take the workforce to 5,700.

Hays Travel have legal access to all of the former Thomas Cook shops and are currently in discussions with the landlords across the UK to where necessary extend and enhance the leases beyond their existing terms – many of these are for several years.

Hays Travel is continuing to recruit people who may not have a background in the industry, but have an interest and passion for travel and would like to work for a company that values its people first. Contact the career number: 0800 215 5045 or visit: https://www.haystravel.co.uk/careers

 

 

HAYS TRAVEL TO INVEST OVER £360,000 IN LOCAL COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS

Hays Travel will invest £360,000 to kickstart fundraising in local communities all over the UK.

The company is extending its Community Partnership scheme, which provides every branch manager with £500 cash, to its newly expanded portfolio of 745 shops.

The managers and their teams use the money to raise further funds for good causes of their choice in their local area. The innovative scheme has been running since the opening of the first Hays Travel store in Seaham, nearly 40 years ago.

The aim is to increase the figure significantly and make donations to a charity, school, individual, or other important cause in the local community.

“Our colleagues are encouraged to be creative with their fundraising activities,” said Toni Gibson, Hays Travel sales support manager, who oversees the partnerships activity and the independent Hays Travel Foundation, which has separately donated almost £1m to charities since 2015.

“They are given the opportunity to have control over where the money is donated, which means the money raised is put to best use in each local community and year after year they outdo themselves.

Earlier this year, eight branches from the South West of England teamed up with the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Department to raise money for a six-year-old who was in a car accident that led to the tragic loss of her father. The Hays Travel branches managed to raise over £9,700 alongside the Fire and Rescue Department by cycling 150 miles, Hays staff cycling on exercise bikes in their shops, while the firefighters took to the road. This amazing effort allowed Amelie and her family to go on a special holiday to Disneyland.

The Hays Travel Foundation was established in 2015 by John and Irene Hays. Its aim is to help young people achieve their potential through better access to health, education, the arts, and sport.

So far this year the independent board of the Foundation has made grants of £306,592 to multiple charities, with a total of £867,000 granted since 2015. The Foundation supports the local community partnership scheme by taking applications to match - double - any funds raised for charities.

One of the most recent cases where match funding was awarded from the Hays Travel Foundation was to Victoria’s Wish, a charity set up to provide the best life possible for young people suffering from cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. Colleagues from Hays Travel’s Redcar branch hiked 35 miles from their branch to the company’s head office in Sunderland and raised £1,525, which came to a huge £3,050 donation after it was match funded.

Toni, who announced the good news to the existing and new branch managers at the Hays Travel Retail Conference this year, said: “The decision to expand the funding is fantastic and the difference it will make to local charities and communities will be truly amazing. It is incredible that we can give this opportunity to all the new branches that have recently joined us and the reaction we have had from them has been overwhelming - they cannot wait to get stuck in and raise money for local causes in their communities.”

To keep up-to-date with recent local community partnership achievements and the communities that benefit throughout the year, follow Hays Travel on Facebook and Twitter.

 

MEGA CONFERENCE LAUNCHES NEW ERA FOR THE UK'S LARGEST INDEPENDENT TRAVEL AGENT

Hays Travel, who bought the entire retail portfolio of Thomas Cook, doubling its workforce and trebling its shop numbers, today began a new era in travel industry history.

The UK’s largest independent travel agent launched its annual retail conference with a message for all of its branch managers, both new and existing.

Retail and Training Director, Jane Schumm, welcomed almost 700 suppliers and managers to the 30th and largest Hays Travel Conference in its history.  She told them: “This is the last time we will refer to anyone as ‘ex-Thomas Cook’; from now on we are all part of the Hays Travel family.”

The conference was told that just as Hays Travel doubled in size six years ago, another new dawn with a bright future ahead was starting.  In the last four weeks as more than 475 new shops have opened, more than 2000 people have chosen to take permanent contracts with Hays Travel.  With plenty more roles to fill, managers across the UK are continuing to recruit to fill posts in their branches.

John Hays, managing director, shared his vision for 2020 - with the main theme being ‘happy staff equals happy customers.’  He paid tribute to the Thomas Cook brand and colleagues, and also explained why he thought Hays Travel could succeed both on the High Street and on line.

 “We have absolute confidence and trust in the skills and commitment of our colleagues to use all channels to develop strong connections with customers, so that they always book the right holiday for the right client,” said John.

“They have the freedom to communicate unscripted to our clients and can use their talent to the full to sell the unlimited range of holidays we can provide as the UK’s largest independent agent – and they tell me this is an important part of their job satisfaction.”

Innovations that excited new branch managers included the ability to manage their own branch Facebook pages, and tailor each post to their individual customers, something that is totally new for them.  The message was know your customers, understand what they’re looking for and connect with them in the best way for them, whether online, in store or both.

On top of the 2,000 plus recruits from ex-Thomas Cook shops, Hays have taken on an additional 289 employees and are continuing to recruit.

With a further two days of conference to go, watch this space for further developments.

 

 

HAYS TRAVEL TAKES FLIGHT – AND STILL ROOM FOR MORE ON BOARD

Hays Travel, the independent travel agent that bought the former Thomas Cook retail portfolio, saving 555 shops and more than 2,000 jobs just a month ago, took to the skies today (November 12).

Four specially chartered Jet2 planes took off from Manchester, Newcastle and Stansted London airports this morning, with more than 700 branch managers on board, heading for the company’s 30th annual retail managers’ conference.

There was a VIP welcome from the three airports for the Hays Travel passengers, attending their first conference since the company acquired the Thomas Cook retail portfolio. 

The acquisition just four weeks ago has trebled the number of Hays Travel shops on the high streets of the UK.  In just one month 450 of the former Thomas Cook shops are now open again and trading, and 2,000 people who had lost their jobs are now employed on permanent contracts.  Hays Travel now employs over 4,000 people and recruitment continues, with vacancies open to the entire travel industry and beyond.

The legendary conference is now three times bigger than ever before and twice the number of planes and hotels were needed to accommodate everyone.  They will be staying in five-star luxury hotels and, as well as three intensive working days, enjoying fun evening events including a glittering awards dinner.

Travelling with them to Antalya, Turkey, and serving snacks on board, were the owners and managing director and chair, John and Irene Hays, both wearing the Hays Travel uniform for the day.

“We always make sure our managers have fun at the conference as they get together from all over the country.  They pack in three full days with some fantastic speakers and workshops and they end up with a unique insight into the latest developments in the travel industry, and masses of information to take back to their branches,” said Irene. 

“This year, we will have the added bonus of getting to know our new colleagues.  We’ll also take the chance to recognise and celebrate all the hard work everyone has put in this year, and to thank those from Thomas Cook who joined so quickly and moved mountains to help us get their shops back up and running.

“And we’d also like to thank Jet2 and Rixos Hotels who came to the rescue just four weeks ago when all the plans had to be upscaled, as well as Newcastle, Manchester and Stansted airports, for the outstanding welcome they’ve given us.”

Manager of the Hays Travel branch in Victoria Square, Belfast, Jackie Geddis, a former Thomas Cook employee of 24 years, said:  “We can’t wait to meet some of the other managers and the staff from Head Office - being across the water we haven’t had that opportunity yet.

“I’m excited to hear about the Hays Travel plans and strategies for the next year and their vision for the future.  It’s absolutely amazing the freedom of choice we now have as an independent to select any product when suggesting holidays for our customers, so I’m looking forward to meeting some of the suppliers we haven’t had the chance to work with before.”

 

ANNOUNCING THE BIGGEST HAYS TRAVEL CONFERENCE YET!

Hays Travel, which trebled its shops and doubled its workforce overnight when it bought the former Thomas Cook retail portfolio is taking flight again.

The UK’s largest independent travel agent will hold the biggest conference of its 39-year history in November.

Over 700 retail branch managers, assistant managers and head office colleagues, including the owners and managing director and chair, John and Irene Hays, are invited to the 2019 Retail Conference in Antalya, Turkey.

The 5-day event has attracted a keynote speaker from a globally-known company and will give Hays Travel employees a unique insight to the latest developments in the travel industry.  It will be an exciting welcome for some of the 2000 colleagues who joined in the last two weeks to meet and get to know each other.  They will do that in style, with a blue and orange themed reception, a glittering celebration at the Gala Awards Dinner, and a fun-filled fancy dress party with a West End shows theme.

Retail & Training Director for Hays Travel, Jane Schumm, said: “We are so delighted to make our conference the biggest ever this year.  It’s a fantastic opportunity, just four weeks after we welcomed Thomas Cook colleagues into the family, to get to know each other, celebrate, learn a lot and have loads of fun.  Our conferences are legendary but this one is going to be really special on a scale we’ve never done before.

“Even the branch managers who’ve been before are in for some surprises. Its action packed with really useful information for branch managers to take back to the business and there’s the chance to share experiences and learn from what’s happening at branches all over the country.  There will be supplier matchmaking events, networking opportunities and workshops to get involved in as well as presentations from colleagues and senior managers from across the business.

“We also take the chance to recognise, reward and celebrate all the hard work and dedication of our managers over the past year, and thank those who joined so quickly and moved mountains to help us get their shops back up and running.

“We have had to move fast to reorganise everything to more than double the numbers in just two weeks and we are very grateful to our sponsors and suppliers for all the help they’re giving us.

“I can’t wait to see everyone having a good time and enjoying themselves in Turkey and taking back loads of new information to their branches.”

 

OVER 400 SHOPS NOW OPEN!

Three weeks after the announcement, 413 branches have opened their doors to customers. We are nearly three quarters of the way to opening all 555 of the former Thomas Cook branches. We have offered contracts to over 2000 former Thomas Cook staff who are walking back into their stores for the first time since the collapse on the 23rd September 2019.

To see if your local branch is open yet, please keep an eye on the list which we update daily here: thomas cook stores

 

 

HALF WAY THERE!

Just over two weeks after the announcement, 350 branches have opened their doors to customers. This means we are well over half way to opening all 555 of the former Thomas Cook branches up and down the UK. We have now offered contracts to over 2000 former Thomas Cook staff and the numbers continue to rise.

John said, “It has been so exciting to see the expansion into new territories such as Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and witness the overwhelming support from the former Thomas Cook staff but also the general public as they welcome us to their high street.”

Irene said, “It is truly heart-warming to see the eagerness and excitement of the new Hays Travel Staff to get their branches up and running and become part of the family”

To see if your local branch is open yet, please keep an eye on the list which we update daily here: thomas cook stores

 

 

NEW WEEK OFF TO A FLYING START AT HAYS TRAVEL

What a start to the week!

As of 9am this morning, Hays Travel have opened 236 of 555 former Thomas Cook stores across the country. That’s 23 stores opening this morning with around 100 more due to open throughout the week. To see if your local branch is open yet, please keep an eye on the list which we update daily here thomas cook stores.

We have now offered 2072 jobs to Thomas Cook staff with more and more contracts being returned every hour. These numbers will only continue to rise and we are so excited to see what this week will bring!

 

 

HAYS TRAVEL OFFER OVER 2000 JOBS TO FORMER THOMAS COOK STAFF

Hays Travel have now offered 2050 jobs to former Thomas Cook employees. More applications are being taken and the recruitment helpline is 0800 215 5995. So far, Hays Travel have re-opened 214 of the 555 former Thomas Cook branches with many more to open over the weekend.

More stores have received new branding and we are welcoming customers old and new through the doors, with dream holidays being booked in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and all across England.

The media whirlwind continues to spin with John and Irene still doing interviews with national press and local media taking interest in their local branches. We are so pleased with all the coverage we have had so far and the incredibly positive responses. We are very proud of all the staff who have represented us so brilliantly.

For more information, please contact the Hays Travel Press Office on pressoffice@hays-travel.co.uk.

 

 

A LOT CAN HAPPEN IN A WEEK!

It’s just seven days since Hays Travel acquired the former Thomas Cook shops across the UK and began offering jobs to 2,500 people.

And we are delighted to announce that in that short time, we have opened the first 186 stores in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales and we have offered 1,982 people a job so far.

All of the 555 new Hays Travel stores will be opening in the coming days and weeks, and we expect to have a total of around 2,500 new colleagues joining us soon.

We have had a fantastic response to the news that we are keeping your favourite shops open, with the same lovely people to continue to give you excellent service and great value.

The colleagues we have now welcomed into the Hays Travel family are really keen to get back to finding everyone the holiday of their dreams as soon as possible.  Please pop into your local shop and say hello!

Best wishes from the Hays Travel team

 

 

FLOWERS SENT TO FIRST HAYS TRAVEL CUSTOMERS AT EX THOMAS COOK SHOP

The ex-Thomas Cook team who booked their first Hays Travel holiday last week celebrated with a big bunch of flowers for their customers.

Mr and Mrs Pope of South Shields were the first customers to book at the ex-Thomas Cook / new Hays Travel shop in the Denmark Centre last Thursday. Today they were delighted to receive a bunch of flowers from the team.

Mr Pope said: “We were over the moon to see the shop back open as Hays Travel with all the familiar faces! We’ll definitely be returning in the future.”

The first booking was made in true team spirit style. Debbie, from Hays Travel’s branch at The Nook, South Shields, was helping out as the Thomas Cook shop was opening up in the Denmark Centre, South Shields, last Thursday.  A customer popped in but with no booking systems up yet, travel consultant Kerry dashed to The Nook branch to book the flight, while Gemma and Nicola held the fort with their customers at the Denmark Centre.

Hays Travel Denmark Centre branch manager, Nicola, said:  “This was a massive team effort and exactly proves how we are going to be able to work together to make sure all our shops keep doing great business!  We are all delighted to be working with new colleagues – who are all part of the family now, and like us value fantastic customer service.”

John Hays said:  “”We meant it when we said the travel industry is a family and we look after each other – we’re delighted to hear about the first of many bookings being made by teams all over the country.  It’s a tribute to the commitment of everyone – now thousands of people – who are really determined to support the growth of Hays Travel for the benefit of us all. I hope Mr and Mrs Pope have a lovely holiday!”

 

 

ALMOST 170 SHOPS NOW OPEN WITH OVER 1950 JOBS OFFERED TO EX-THOMAS COOK STAFF

Hays Travel have so far re-opened 168 of the 555 former Thomas Cook branches with many more to follow throughout the week.

The UK’s largest independent travel agent, and Sunderland based company, now has 1954 former Thomas Cook employees on its books. More applications are being taken and the recruitment helpline is open all week on: 0800 215 5995

The first Hays Travel holiday booked in a Thomas Cook shop happened last week at the Denmark Centre in South Shields, and since then more bookings have been taking place all over the country.

New branding was tried out at the former Thomas Cook store in The Bridges, Sunderland – see the latest pictures on Hays Travel’s Facebook page and @haystravel on Twitter.

Hays Travel has been at the forefront of a media whirlwind since it announced it was to re-open all 555 of the closed Thomas Cook shops last Wednesday, with John and Irene Hays completing over 60 interviews with both the regional and national press. The Hays Travel press team have taken hundreds of media enquiries, which has resulted in John and Irene headlining major broadcast channels, from BBC One’s 6 O’Clock News to ITV’s Good Morning Britain. Dozens of former Thomas Cook employees and Hays Travel colleagues have been in the spotlight both in national and regional media across the length and breadth of the UK.

John Hays said: “Irene and I have been taken aback by the good will and well wishes from the public over the past few days. It really has been humbling. We’re so proud of our wonderful teams, both old and new, who have come together working around the clock to get as many new branches up and running as quickly as possible.”

For more information, please contact the Hays Travel Press Office on pressoffice@hays-travel.co.uk.

 

 

ALMOST 140 SHOPS NOW OPEN WITH OVER 1900 JOBS OFFERED TO EX-THOMAS COOK STAFF

Hays Travel have so far re-opened 138 of the 555 former Thomas Cook branches with many more to follow throughout the week.

The UK’s largest independent travel agent, and Sunderland based company, now has 1930 former Thomas Cook employees on its books. More applications are being taken and the recruitment helpline is open all week on: 0800 215 5995

The first Hays Travel holiday booked in a Thomas Cook shop happened last week at the Denmark Centre in South Shields, and since then more bookings have been taking place all over the country.

New branding was tried out at the former Thomas Cook store in The Bridges, Sunderland – see the latest pictures on Hays Travel’s Facebook page and @haystravel on Twitter.

Hays Travel has been at the forefront of a media whirlwind since it announced it was to re-open all 555 of the closed Thomas Cook shops last Wednesday, with John and Irene Hays completing over 60 interviews with both the regional and national press. The Hays Travel press team have taken hundreds of media enquiries, which has resulted in John and Irene headlining major broadcast channels, from BBC One’s 6 O’Clock News to ITV’s Good Morning Britain. Dozens of former Thomas Cook employees and Hays Travel colleagues have been in the spotlight both in national and regional media across the length and breadth of the UK.

John Hays said: “Irene and I have been taken aback by the good will and well wishes from the public over the past few days. It really has been humbling. We’re so proud of our wonderful teams, both old and new, who have come together working around the clock to get as many new branches up and running as quickly as possible.”

 

 

MORE STORES OPENED AND MORE PEOPLE RECRUITED AT HAYS TRAVEL

Hays Travel have so far re-opened 123 stores of the 555 former Thomas Cook branches today and more will follow over the weekend.

The Sunderland based company, the UK’s largest independent travel agent, now has 1761 former Thomas Cook employees on its books. More applications are being taken – the 0800 215 5995 helpline is open all weekend. 

The first Hays Travel holiday booked in a Thomas Cook store happened on Thursday, at the Debenham Centre in South Shields, and was the result of a joint team effort between the new colleagues of both South Shields shops sharing expertise and technology.

The first new branding was tried out at the former Thomas Cook store in The Bridges Sunderland – there are stunning pictures on Hays Travel Facebook page and @haystravel on Twitter.

The Hays Travel press team has taken hundreds of media enquiries and Irene and John have talked to at least 60 journalists. They have been dubbed the “Heroes of the High Street” and the “Best Bosses in Britain”, (though they are not terribly keen on this!) and appeared on the major news broadcast channels from headlining BBC One’s 6 0’clock News to ITV’s Good Morning Britain.  Not only that, dozens of former Thomas Cook employees and Hays Travel colleagues have been in the spotlight in national and regional media across the UK.

“It’s incredible how much our fantastic teams have done in just three days.  They’ll be working over the weekend too on recruitment and getting stores open. Irene and I and all of our now extended Hays Travel family are really overwhelmed with the continuing support and goodwill messages we are receiving from everyone.

We are delighted to have welcomed customers back into the stores, started rebranding and booked our first holidays already and that’s a tribute to our great people who have stopped at nothing to make this happen.”

 

 

FIRST HAYS TRAVEL HOLIDAY BOOKED AT THOMAS COOK SHOP

And we’re off!

Celebrations and massive congratulations to the joint Hays Travel/Thomas Cook team that have booked the first Hays Travel holiday from our new shops on Thursday.

In true team spirit Debbie, from the Hays Travel’s branch at the Nook, South Shields, was helping out as the Thomas Cook store was opening up in the Denmark Centre, South Shields.   A customer popped in to see Maureen and she found her a great flight deal.  With no booking systems up yet, Kerry dashed to the Hays Travel South Shields branch to book the flight, while Gemma and Nicola held the fort.

Denmark Centre branch manager Nicola said:  “This was a massive team effort and exactly proves how we are going to be able to work together to make sure all our shops keep doing great business!  We are all delighted to be working with new colleagues – who are all part of the family now and like us value fantastic customer service.”

John Hays said:  “”We meant it when we said the travel industry is a family and we look after each other – we’re delighted to hear about the first of many bookings being  made by teams all over the country.  It’s a tribute to the commitment of everyone – now thousands of people – who are really determined to support the growth of Hays Travel for the benefit of us all.”

The team:  Michelle Black (Jarrow), Debbie Howe The former Thomas Cook staff Kerry Grieves and Nicola Callaghan, Gemma Critchlow and Maureen Carnell.

 

 

HAYS TRAVEL RE-OPEN THOMAS COOK HIGH STREET SHOPS ACROSS NORTHERN IRELAND

Hays Travel has acquired the entire retail portfolio of over 555 former Thomas Cook shops in the UK after it signed a deal with the Official Receiver and Special Managers at KPMG on the 9th October 2019. 

This includes 22 high street shops across Northern Ireland, 20 of which have opened their doors already. Hays Travel is a private company, jointly owned and managed by John Hays, Managing Director, and Irene Hays, Chair of the Hays Travel Group.  The company hopes to take on as many of the 2,500 former Thomas Cook retail employees as possible in the coming weeks, doubling its workforce. In Northern Ireland, 79 members of staff have been recruited so far with a further 50 jobs still to be filled.

Nicola Allison (Regional Sales Manager for Northern Ireland) said: “I am utterly delighted. It is an amazing thing that John and Irene have done for us – it’s a lifeline. I worked for Thomas Cook for 24 years but when I visited the Hays Travel Head Office in Sunderland it became clear that I have moved from one travel family to another. Our staff have really put their heart and soul into this and we are so excited to be welcoming customers old and new back into our stores!”

Irene Hays (Owner and Chair of the Hays Travel Group) said:  “Thomas Cook was a much-loved brand and a pillar of the UK and the global travel industry.  We will build on the good things Thomas Cook had – not least its people – and that will put us in even better stead for the future.”

John Hays (Owner and Managing Director) said: “I’m very proud of the fantastic team who have helped me build Hays Travel over almost 40 years and they have worked tirelessly over the last couple of weeks to bring this about.  It is a game-changer for us, almost trebling the number of shops we have and doubling our workforce - and for the industry, which will get to keep some of its most talented people. We are delighted to have a presence in Northern Ireland for the first time. It’s a wonderful opportunity for all of us and we can’t wait to come over and meet everyone soon!”

The 40-year-old Sunderland-based company reached sales of more than £1bn in 2018 and celebrated by sharing £1m with its 1900 employees, who each received £100 for every year they’d worked there.  Hays Travel has been included in the Sunday Times Best 100 Companies to Work For for several years, and is currently the Investors in People UK’s Best Large Company for Apprenticeships.  

For recruitment, visit haystravel.co.uk/careers or call 0800 215 5995

For information regarding shops opening and latest news visit haystravel.co.uk

Click here to read the full article

 

 

UPDATE 11/10/19

We are delighted to say that we now have many former Thomas Cook stores open with their original staff in place, and customers are popping in to welcome them back while we get trading up and running.

Hays Travel owners John and Irene Hays have been overwhelmed by the support they’ve had. “We are really humbled at the fantastic response there has been from our wonderful staff, our customers, suppliers, friends and many complete strangers who believe in what we’re doing.

“There’s a huge will to see our high street shops thrive and we’re determined that we will be doing our bit for the travel industry with the help of everyone in the now extended Hays family. We’d like to thank everyone who has helped make this happen - we know the hard work is just beginning for our brilliant teams.”

We are re-opening all of the 555 Thomas Cook shops as soon as possible and we are making excellent progress to date. There are 1210 people on the books now with more offers and contracts going out by the hour.

Our intention is to keep the stores trading profitably and building on some of the Hays Travel business approach and ethos, supported by our brilliant people, we are in good stead.

We have opened over 20 shops in the last few hours and more will open in the coming days.  Please feel free to pop into your local branch and say hello to the familiar faces who are now new members of the Hays Travel family.

To date, shops have opened in Northumberland, Teesside, Tyne and Wear, Darlington, Yorkshire, Northern Ireland and Wales.

 

John & Irene Hays

 

UPDATE 10/10/19

We are delighted to say that we already have some former Thomas Cook stores open with their original staff in place, and customers are popping in to welcome them back while we get trading up and running.

We are re-opening all of 555 Thomas Cook shops as soon as possible and we are employing Thomas Cook people as fast as we can – 769 have been recruited and 180 made an offer up to last night.

Our intention is to keep all the stores trading by making all of them profitable in their own right. The vast majority already are profitable and with some of the Hays Travel business approach and ethos, supported by our brilliant people, we are in good stead.

To date, shops have opened in Redcar, Alnwick, Morpeth, Teesside Park, MetroCentre Gateshead, Sunderland, Middlesbrough, Darlington…..

Our employees are empowered to talk to the press if they wish to – if you have further enquiries please email pressoffice@hays-travel.co.uk  or call 0191 814 8050.

 

John & Irene Hays

 

HAYS TRAVEL TO RE-OPEN THOMAS COOK HIGH STREET SHOPS

Up to 2,500 jobs at Thomas Cook could be saved after Hays Travel, the UK’s largest independent travel agent, today agreed to buy the historic holiday company’s high street shops.

Hays Travel will acquire the entire retail portfolio of 555 former Thomas Cook shops after it signed a deal with the Official Receiver and Special Managers from KPMG. 

Hays Travel has already employed more than 25% of the former Thomas Cook retail employees and is proposing to re-open the stores with immediate effect where possible and to take on up to 2,500 people.  Over 100 new jobs will be based at the company’s Sunderland headquarters with the rest in shops across the UK.

Thomas Cook was placed in compulsory liquidation on September 23rd, upon which the Official Receiver was appointed by the court as liquidator.  Special Managers from KPMG were also appointed by the court to assist the Official Receiver with the liquidation.

Hays Travel, at the invitation of the Civil Aviation Authority, immediately responded to support thousands of customers on holiday or with holidays booked.  They also offered jobs to over 600 former Thomas Cook employees, and offered to help all of the Thomas Cook apprentices to complete their training at the Ofsted accredited Hays Travel Academy.  

The deal announced today involves re-opening retail premises that will complement Hays Travel’s own 190 shops across the UK.  Hays Travel is a private company, jointly owned and managed by John Hays, Managing Director, and Irene Hays, Chair of the Hays Travel Group.  The company hopes to take on as many of the 2,500 former Thomas Cook retail employees as possible in the coming weeks, doubling its workforce. 

Irene said:  “Thomas Cook was a much-loved brand and a pillar of the UK and the global travel industry.   We will build on the good things Thomas Cook had – not least its people – and that will put us in even better stead for the future.

“We all share a passion for the travel industry and we want to continue to build the company’s reputation for first class service and being a great place to work and develop a career.”

John Hays said: “Our staff were devastated to hear about Thomas Cook and we all immediately felt we wanted to help. 

“In the last two weeks we have already employed or offered jobs to around 600 former Thomas Cook colleagues, and it has been a very emotional experience for them.  Now that we are able to re-open the shops, we are looking forward to welcoming many more people who share our passion for the travel industry, into our family business.

“I’m very proud of the fantastic team who have helped me build Hays Travel over almost 40 years and they have worked tirelessly over the last couple of weeks to bring this about.  It is a game-changer for us, almost trebling the number of shops we have and doubling our workforce - and for the industry, which will get to keep some of its most talented people.”

The 40-year-old Sunderland-based company reached sales of more than £1bn in 2018 and celebrated by sharing £1m with its 1900 employees, who each received £100 for every year they’d worked there.  Hays Travel has been included in the Sunday Times Best 100 Companies to Work For for several years, and is currently the Investors in People UK’s Best Large Company for Apprenticeships.

The team supporting Hays Travel throughout included lawyers Muckle LLP, financial advisers White Hart Associates and property consultants Identity Consult.