The Unite union has urged the government “to look again” at the liquidation of Thomas Cook Airlines.
Unite said the sale of Cook’s retail division to Hays Travel on Wednesday (9 October) raised fresh questions over the government’s “entire strategy” with regards to Cook.
When Cook failed on 23 September, the entire business was liquidated, irrespective of whether individual divisions were profitable or viable.
These include Thomas Cook Airlines, Cook’s retail network and both Freedom Travel Group and Future Travel.
Unite assistant general secretary Diana Holland said the Hays deal was “clearly good news” for workers and communities served by their local Cook store.
However, she stressed the sale “threw into serious question” the government’s handling of Cook’s collapse.
"The sale of the shops clearly demonstrates various parts of the business were viable,” said Holland. “The Thomas Cook airline was not only viable but was profit-making. Yet the government made no attempt to allow the airline to continue to fly.
“Instead, it was placed into compulsory liquidation with the loss of 4,000 jobs. Given the latest developments it is clear the government’s assessment that providing any financial assistance would risk ‘throwing good money after bad’ has been proven to be entirely false.
“The government should look again at the UK Thomas Cook airline and in doing so call a halt to the insolvency process.
“This would then allow there to be a proper and thorough examination of what action can be taken to find employment opportunities for Thomas Cook’s airline staff.”