Thomas Cook is in a desperately bad position this evening, with many concerned that the company will not make it through the weekend.
The Civil Aviation Authority have already placed orders for charter aircraft to repatriate holidaymakers abroad, in what would be the biggest peace-time effort of its kind.
Thomas Cook’s potential failure will have massive ramifications for the tourism industry in the UK, leaving the country without a home-based operator of significance.
TUI is of course not UK based. Thomson would have been the go-to brand, but they are now TUI.
In the 1980’s and 90’s, the package holiday industry was booming. Pay your money on the high street, and your troubles were sorted – your flight, transfers and accommodation.
Those days are clearly long gone, as we are seeing with the demise of a name synonymous with British tourism, with its roots going back to the 1840’s.
The loss of Thomas Cook is like the loss of Billy Butlin’s original holiday parks (not the current iterations, which are nowhere near what Billy intended).
Only 20 years ago, there was Airtours/Aspro with their own airline – airtours. There was First Choice holidays with Air 2000, and there was Thomson, with Britannia. In amongst all that there were others.
The British package holiday was once the staple of the family annual tradition. It replaced the trip to Weston-super-mare and to the English Riviera, because flights and hotels became so cheap.
What a sorry state of affairs we are looking at when the only credible holiday operator is Jet2. It has been operating for only 16 years, but has the current model right.
Why couldn’t the others, Airtours, MyTravel, JMC, First Choice, etc etc etc get it right?? Actually, how did they get it so wrong?!
Thomas Cook looks set to join that list, and it is a desperate, awful, crying shame.