Thomas Cook could make a comeback as an online travel agent before the end of the year, under plans drawn up by the Chinese conglomerate that bought the brand after the company’s spectacular collapse.
Fosun, which was Thomas Cook’s biggest shareholder before its failure last September, has said repeatedly that it wants to relaunch the business as an online brand.
It is trying to secure approval from the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority but is reluctant to finalise its plans in case the UK government introduces further travel quarantines.
By acquiring the 179-year-old Thomas Cook brand in an £11m deal last November, Fosun gained access to its trademarks, websites, social media accounts and software across most of the world. The group owns a number of other businesses including Club Med and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC.
Thomas Cook’s downfall was caused by a huge debt mountain, run up as it expanded through takeovers amid fierce competition from online rivals. Its collapse triggered the largest ever peacetime repatriation to bring home 150,000 UK holidaymakers from overseas.