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Thomas Cook Updates

UPDATED: 16/10/19 - 09:00

 

 

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.