Chinese travel giant and former Thomas Cook investor Fosun has reportedly recruited a number of ex-Cook executives with a view to relaunching the brand as a purely online proposition.
Fosun acquired the Cook brand last November, just weeks after Britain’s oldest and most iconic travel firm was liquidated on 23 September. Fosun held an 18% stake in Cook when it collapsed.
The Times now reports Cook is set to be relaunched as an OTA in June after hiring “a dozen” former Cook executives, predominantly those with a background in technology, according to the paper.
Ahead of Cook’s collapse, there was speculation that Fosun – which was heavily involved in near £1 billion negotiations to save Cook – would look to rebuild the brand as wholly digital operation.
The Telegraph in May reported this could take the form of an “online holiday marketplace” where clients could curate their trips. The paper said Cook’s shareholders were consulted on the idea.
Fosun’s hires reportedly include Alan French, Cook’s former group strategy and technology director; Raj Sharma, a former finance executive; and Phil Gardner, head of sales, e-commence and marketing.
The Times additionally reports Fosun’s new-look Cook operation will approach the CAA with a view to acquiring an Atol licence.
TTG has approached Fosun for comment.