One of the most famous names in British hospitality, Thomas Cook relaunches today as an online travel business.
The move follows the acquisition of the company – which initially ceased trading in September last year – by international leisure company Fosun Tourism Group.
Branded as a ‘COVID-ready’ travel company, Thomas Cook will initially sell holidays to destinations on the safe travel corridor list.
Licensed by the CAA and ATOL-protected, the new Thomas Cook will launch as a purely online business via a website, offering customers thousands of hotels and flight routes so they can design their holidays.
At launch, holidays will be available in popular beach destinations and cities in countries including Italy, Greece, and Turkey, in line with the current travel corridors.
Customers will be able to choose from room-only to all-inclusive options, across three, four, and five-star hotels.
The new website puts customers in control of their holiday, with the ability to design their trip according to their budget, needs, and specifications.
Add-ons will include transfers, car hire, airport parking, currency, and travel insurance.
Alan French, who held the role of group strategy and technology director at the former Thomas Cook, has been appointed chief executive of the new venture.
He said: “We have reinvented one of the most recognizable names in British travel.
“Our new business will combine fantastic UK based customer service with an updated operating model protected by Atol and with the backing of a multi-billion-dollar organization.
“We are launching now clearly aware of the short-term challenges posed by the pandemic.
“We and our Fosun backers are taking the long view and we want to offer choice, customization, and 24/7 on-holiday customer care to families who wish to travel now and in the future.”
He added: “We know Brits are keen to travel but feel nervous about safety and any changes to government rules on quarantine.
“We are only selling destinations on the travel corridor list and all the hotels are flexible.
“We also will not charge customers a fee to change their holidays if government rules change.”
Fosun Tourism Group, which also owns Club Med, acquired the brand and online assets of Thomas Cook in November last year.
Jim Qian, chief executive of Fosun Tourism Group, said: “Thomas Cook has a proud heritage and after acquiring the brand last year we wanted to quickly return it to its home in the UK.
“Supporting the growth of the brand in China and its relaunch in the UK is a big step in our plan to turn Thomas Cook into a global success story and a key milestone in the development of the Fosun Tourism Group’s strategy.”