Richard Branson blames Thomas Cook’s demise on a drop in the British pound
Virgin Group founder Richard Branson has written on Virgin’s site that he is “saddened” to see the collapse of Thomas Cook.
“It’s upsetting to see so many people lose their jobs and thousands of holidaymakers affected by disrupted travel,” Branson wrote.
“The drop in the pound following the referendum has put even more pressure on the struggling business, which has been saddled with large debt for a number of years. All of the travel industry costs are in dollars – for example fuel maintenance and airplane leasing. With the weaker pound, the cost of everything has skyrocketed. For Thomas Cook, this has proved terminal.”
He said the tour operator “was the pioneer of organized travel and has been such a strong force in the travel industry,” adding that Virgin Atlantic “are doing all they can to find people jobs and bring stranded people home.”
Groom named Thomas Cook has wedding ruined by Thomas Cook collapse
A groom who shares the same name as the travel operator Thomas Cook has had his wedding plans ruined by the company’s collapse.
If it does, they don’t yet know whether any of their friends will make it to Greece in time for the ceremony.
“We found out today in the early hours,” Binch said. “We were devastated and still are!”
The couple booked their wedding package with Thomas Cook last year. Binch said the operator promised a “special surprise” since the groom shares the company’s name.
They haven’t received anything, she said, explaining that the wedding package the couple bought included not only the ceremony, but also the flowers, wedding cake and entertainment. It’s not clear if any part of the wedding can go ahead as planned.
“We have some family out here but our friends are due to be flew out Wednesday (including best man) which won’t be able to come,” Binch said.
“We have no plans but to wait and find out when our flight home is.”
Thomas Cook collapse equal to “a 7-magnitude earthquake” for Crete, island’s tourism boss says
“The size of the Thomas Cook collapse can be compared to a 7-magnitude earthquake — but sometimes the tsunami is even worse, and in this occasion what we’re bracing for is the tsunami,” Vlatakis said.
He added that the loss of Thomas Cook’s business could have a major impact on tourism on the Greek Island, where large numbers of hotels have contracts with the company.
Meanwhile, the Greek Tourism Association says the operator’s collapse will need “quick and effective responses.”
“Concrete measures should be planned and announced, as to how the problems that arise for tourism businesses as a result of the collapse will be absorbed,” it said in a statement, adding that the private sector “needs to remain calm and offer assistance to the thousands of Thomas Cook tourists currently in the country.”
“Our behavior and the treatment provided towards these people will shape the image of our country as a welcoming and responsible destination, on an international level.”