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This is dated 20th May 2019 and we all know what happened in the last week of September and reading the above piece Thomas Cook probably never really recovered from their previous meltdown. Companies should be held more accountable for their day to day running, with a star rating for stability with an independent ombudsman overseeing these companies. This is the only way forward where we as customers can feel at ease with doing business with companies like Thomas Cook and the like.
Many of the staff at Thomas Cook now work for Jet2. Jet2 has been so successful and is now the no.2 package tour operator in UK because it did what TC failed to do. 1) It is vertically integrated with its airline (whereas TC is selling its airline). 2) It has a razor sharp digital online media distribution channel for its flights and holiday packages. (whereas TC invested its money in another large chain of high street travel agents - Co-op and is now closing some TC shops as they are unprofitable and customers book online). 3) Jet2 has a trusted brand, whereas TC brand was damaged by Corfu and Hurghada incidents. Big question now on everyones' lips is will Jet2 make an offer for TC UK business?
If I was a consumer looking to book travel arrangements I would not be using Thomas Cook.Going forward customer confidence may slowly return to the brand - as it did in 2011.However a company that continues to flirt with going bust is going to find it more difficult each time this happens. There have been some major high street brands gone under since Thomas Cook was last in this position so customers will be understandably more concerned than ever. Cook's tour operation has recently alienated itself with the retail trade by taking away commission parity so they can't expect much sympathy or support from its peers - unlike last time.
Are things all that bad? Fosun upped there stack in TC at the end of April. A company worth over $6 Billion dollars. Why would a company increase it's shares without knowing the current situation?
This is worrying times for Thomas Cook staff, the travel world isholding its breath. One hopes the present management can turn thingsround, one thing is for sure if they come out of this latest crisisintact it will be a lot smaller company but at least it will be stillalive and kicking and maybe grow in the future, I hope for the staffthat will be the case.
Doubt it’ll be alive. It won’t be alive on Friday. Thomas Cook merged with MyTravel in 2007, which has been adding to their debt day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year etc, and the debt is too big now. If the airline sells, very unlikely now, it won’t cover the debt, not even close to the debt, and in 2018, around April 2018, the airline should’ve been sold. This is why it’s in trouble now, it won’t exist next week.
Great analysis again Ian and it certainly sounds very unlikely that TC will exist at the end of the year, certainly in its current form. The holding back of customer payments reminds me very much of the beginning of the end when we were at Monarch.
Why then are they talking about more new hotels and the like concentrate on what they do best and use what they have now and not be so pigheaded about buying up more hotels they dont have the clout that TUI has worst luck.
Bring back Harriet
I was at the company at the time of Manny >> Harriet.
Make no mistake, Harriet did a great job but she isn't someone who could successfully get Thomas Cook out of this mire. Her job was easy and I am sure a number of CEOs could have done the same kind of job. Her task was simple, take a bloated company and slim it down. Her job was to trim the fat and that's really as far as it went.
Shut Bradford Office, close some shops, sell Gold Medal, sell Neilsons. Trim trim trim.
Now you had a slimmer, slightly more agile company and the balance sheets look better. Harriet's favourite word was 'silo', she talked about removing them and was absolutely right to do so. Unfortunately she didn't and now the company is so full of silos and legacy systems that they simply can't manoeuvre quick enough to react to market forces. She knew what her task was and moved on whilst her stock was high. It was an absolute home run for her.
I don't know the answer to fix Thomas Cook clearly but I do know that Harriet is 100% not the person for the job.
What a depressing situation for all concerned. Trouble ahead if there is a booking slump.