Former Thomas Cook bosses defended the decisions they made while leading the company at a Westminster inquiry this morning (23 October).
Manny Fontenla-Novoa and Harriet Green answered questions about Cook’s business model at Parliament’s Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy select committee, which is investigating the collapse.
Fontenla-Novoa said he believed acquiring MyTravel in 2007 – blamed for the build up of debt by Peter Fankhauser – was the right decision.
It came before a £237 million acquisition spree and £290 million paid to shareholders in 2008-2010, which led to a 2011 cash crisis.
At the inquiry, committee chair Rachel Reeves highlighted Cook was not a signatory to the Prompt Payment Code, with average payments made after 60 or 70 days.
“Looking back, do I regret things? Of course I regret things,” Fontenla-Novoa said.
“I made mistakes, I have no doubt about that, but I honestly, genuinely believe that the merger with MyTravel was the right decision.”
Reeves cautioned Fontenla-Novoa that “a little bit more humility and introspection about what went on wouldn’t go amiss”.