Thomas Cook on the ropes!

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3 hours ago, ng78 said:

Very sad to see this development.  Also, I wonder what the implications are for Air Transat?  I believe they are supposed to get 10 A320/A321's this winter from TCX, and also send 4 A330's to TCX.  

We’ll just keep and fly our 330s instead...

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sad news for the employees.......


Thomas Cook, the world’s oldest travel firm, collapsed on Monday, stranding hundreds of thousands of holidaymakers around the globe and sparking the largest peacetime repatriation effort in British history.

Chief Executive Peter Fankhauser said it was a matter of profound regret that the company had gone out of business after it failed to secure a rescue package from its lenders.

The firm runs hotels, resorts, airlines and cruises for 19 million people a year in 16 countries. It currently has 600,000 people abroad, forcing governments and insurance companies to coordinate a huge rescue operation.

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The airline bosses who will welcome Cook's fall

Sun 22 Sep 2019 - The Telegraph
Oliver Gill

Whisper it – especially when there’s 21,000 jobs on the line and 600,000 holidaymakers stranded – but there will be plenty of people in the airlines sector quietly rejoicing at Thomas Cook’s collapse.

Harsh? Yes. True? Absolutely.

Overcapacity. It’s a curious buzzword that has been doing the rounds in the industry for some time. Crudely put, the European aviation market has too many flights chasing too few customers.

Even more crudely, there are not enough bums to put on plane seats – and that’s not just because they are getting smaller (the seats, not the bums).

Thomas Cook, which ceased trading early on Monday, will do its bit in addressing an imbalance between supply and demand.

Take-off and landing slots will be swallowed up quickly – and Thomas Cook has some attractive ones. There are 200 at Gatwick and 350 at Manchester.

Who’d buy them? One can’t help but think that Virgin Atlantic would be at the front of the queue. With Sir Richard Branson only a minority – rather than majority – shareholder, Virgin executives have exhibited a feisty approach in recent weeks.

The Gatwick slots are valuable enough on a stand-alone basis. Meanwhile, the Manchester ones could come in handy for Flybe – which is now effectively Virgin’s domestic UK arm – allowing it to connect passengers from the rest of Britain with Heathrow.

All in all, a perfect springboard for Virgin’s new(ish) boss Shai Weiss to lay down a marker.

Last week, he revealed grand plans to expand Virgin’s destination list from 19 to more than 100. When (or is it if?) Heathrow’s third runway is built, Weiss wants Virgin to be first in the queue to soak up the extra slots.

Virgin, which staff on its inaugural A350 transatlantic flight insisted is a jolly nice place to work, isn’t afraid on capitalising on others’ misfortune.

Striking a distinctly cut-throat tone, Weiss told journalists in New York that Virgin had made “millions” by flying British Airways passengers to and from the US during recent strikes by the flag carrier’s pilots.

Many other airlines stand to benefit from Thomas Cook’s malaise. EasyJet, which was dumped out of the FTSE 100 index of leading UK shares earlier this year, has seen its profits squeezed. Lufthansa and Air France KLM, which admittedly operate under a different model, may also be granted some breathing space and be able to increase prices.

Another beneficiary could be Norwegian Air, the debt-laden low-cost carrier that a year ago a majority would have said was the most likely candidate to be the next big airline insolvency. It’s now in the hands of Geir Karlsen, a beancounter, rather than swashbuckling former fighter pilot Bjorn Kjos – and things may be looking up.

Last week Karlsen struck a key deal to delay repaying around £300m of corporate bonds. His plan is to get the airline back in the black by 2020. With a spending spree on new planes at an end, and creditors kept at bay, the financially focused Karlsen will welcome the chance to nudge fares up a touch.

No one wants to see people lose their livelihoods, holiday plans ruined and a repatriation effort that’s estimated to cost £600m.

But once the dust has settled – however this sad saga plays out – many of Europe’s airline bosses may well be breathing a big sigh of relief and quietly saying to themselves ‘Thank goodness’.

Stag-do fliers beware

Every time an airline fails the Civil Aviation Authority trots out a very similar line: contact your credit card provider to get your money back on flight bookings. The idea is that if a service can’t be delivered, you should be able to get a refund from your plastic friend under consumer rights laws.

But watch out. Experts are warning that an insolvency the size of Thomas Cook will likely lead to a flood of claims. Those clever heads at the credit card firms may be able to wangle their way out of stumping up the cash.

There are already warnings that you might not get your money back on group bookings.

Families shouldn’t be a problem. But a stag do? The banks might be able to argue that only the purchaser’s flight is covered. The rest of the booking is akin to a cash transaction between said purchaser and the rest of his rabble. It’s rarely fun to be the person arranging a stag do. Here’s another reason not to do it.

Slaughtered journalists

One can only think that despite the dire situation, Thomas Cook top brass and its creditors must have had at least a little chuckle to themselves at the thought of a scrum of journalists standing outside the offices of City law firm Slaughter and May. The time and location of the pivotal meeting had been leaked late on Saturday night.

What did they do? Moved to the headquarters of one its rivals, namely Latham & Watkins, just across the Square Mile.

It couldn’t have been a ruse all along. Could it?


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"It has also triggered the biggest ever peacetime repatriation aimed at bringing more than 150,000 British holidaymakers home."

Thats just the Brits! Upwards of 500,000+ left stranded and a figure north of the 200M pounds needed to keep them afloat will be needed to "repatriate" the "guests" back home!

Is this the first of many..............

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5 hours ago, Super 80 said:

I always found it funny that Thomas Cook, a company established to encourage temperance and christian living through travel came to mostly deliver British degenerates to tourist destinations so they can drunkenly urinate on war memorials.

Having flown on them from YYZ to LGW on a couple of occasions, I can honestly say they were the best transatlantic charter flights I ever had. I would say the seat and service were better than the home grown options.  Even in an old 757. 
they were a good operation. 

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Thomas Cook collapse: German airline Condor seeks financial help

  • 5 minutes ago
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A Condor plane next to a Thomas Cook planeImage copyright EPA

Germany is considering issuing financial aid to the Condor airline after Thomas Cook declared bankruptcy.

Thomas Cook, which has a 49% share in the airline, collapsed on Monday.

Condor has applied for a bridging loan from the federal government and is awaiting a response, with German media reporting the amount requested was €200m ($220m; £176m).

Thomas Cook's collapse has reportedly left 600,000 tourists stranded, including tens of thousands of Germans.

German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said that the government would make a decision on financial aid within the coming days.


The government in the state of Hesse has already promised its support, a statement from the airline said.

"I assure you that we will do everything in our power and leave no stone unturned, so that our fleet continues to bring our guests reliably to their holiday destinations all over the world and back home as usual," Ralf Teckentrup, chairman of Condor, said.

Condor has said it will not carry passengers who have booked with Thomas Cook or its subsidiaries. Those passengers have been advised to get in contact with their tour operator.


A German government official said that compulsory insurance should cover most German travellers if they were stranded abroad, Reuters reports.

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'It's a mess for everybody', says former Thomas Cook pilot
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Media captionFormer Thomas Cook pilot explains how he was told he would lose his job

What has happened to Thomas Cook in Europe?

Thomas Cook's subsidiary in Germany is still operating but has stopped taking bookings, says. This includes all of its German subsidiaries such as Neckermann, Öger Tours, Air Marin and Bucher Reisen.

Thomas Cook's German operations are widely considered to be in a healthier state and have remained profitable, DW adds.

The Dutch unit of Thomas Cook has cancelled all travel booked through Thomas Cook Netherlands and subsidiary Neckermann. The companies said that they looked into the possibility of fulfilling the booked journeys but were unsuccessful. A special call centre has been set up for those affected.

Currently, there are 10,000 Dutch tourists abroad with Thomas Cook.

In Belgium, Thomas Cook's unit there says customers who have booked a package holiday cannot travel for the time being. A number of Thomas Cook Belgium's offices were closed on Tuesday.

Leen Segers, spokeswoman for Thomas Cook Belgium said: "We decided not to let any new customers leave today. We are looking for solutions for Thomas Cook Belgium. We want clarity before the customers leave again."

Brussels Airlines has also stopped accepting passengers who have booked a package through Thomas Cook and Neckermann. The Belgian airline also said on Monday that it would start cancelling flights that it operates on behalf of Thomas Cook. Two flights from Brussels to Tunisia were cancelled on Wednesday.

How have businesses around the world been affected?

There is concern in countries such as Egypt and Greece that local businesses could be financially impacted by loss of tourism.

  • The Gambia's government has held an emergency meeting over the collapse of Thomas Cook. There is concern that its collapse will heavily impact tourism which contributes more than 30% of the Gambia's GDP
  • In Egypt, Thomas Cook operator Blue Sky said reservations until April 2020 have been cancelled. Bassem Halaka, chairman of the Tourism Syndicate in Egypt, said that Thomas Cook "was a major organiser of charter flights from the UK to Sharm El-Sheikh" and that tourism in these resorts would be affected
  • In Cyprus, the loss for hoteliers and the wider economy is about €50 million, according to Cyprus' deputy tourism minister Savvas Perdios. He added that hotels were owed money for July, August and even September
  • 50,000 tourists are stranded in Greece, according to the tourism minister. Grigoris Tassios told local TV that hotels were expected to make losses on payments from the past two months. He said that hotel companies would attempt to recover money from Thomas Cook in court
  • In India, Goa's Travel and Tourism Association said that the loss of Thomas Cook is a "big, big, blow to the industry."
  • Spain's Balearic Islands faces million of euros in losses. Thomas Cook has a tax office in Palma with hundreds of employees, and also works with 20 hotels in the Balearic Islands and 20 in the Canary Islands
  • About 53,000 British tourists in Spain have been affected. Spain's ministry of tourism has been in contact with German and Swedish authorities to ensure their subsidiaries will continue to operate during the winter season.
  • Turkey's Hoteliers Federation (TUROFED) has warned that the country could miss out on up to 700,000 tourists a year due to the collapse of the tour operator. The chairman of TUROFED, Osman Ayik, told Reuters: "There are a large number of small businesses whose fates depend on Thomas Cook, especially in Mugla, Dalaman and Fethiye." He added that some small hotels in Turkey are still owed around £100,000 - £200,000 ($125,000-$250,000)
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On 9/23/2019 at 8:46 PM, boestar said:

Having flown on them from YYZ to LGW on a couple of occasions, I can honestly say they were the best transatlantic charter flights I ever had. I would say the seat and service were better than the home grown options.  Even in an old 757. 
they were a good operation. 

I had nothing against them, and especially not Condor. But I do find it funny that a company that was founded by a Baptist based on the idea that they would offer affordable life experiences as an alternative to drunken debauchery (Don't spend your money at the pub, take a short trip to a Scottish castle) turned into precisely the opposite.

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Thomas Cook aircraft have been seized at MAN and LGW for non-payment of fees, MAN didn't even wait for them to officially collapse. But that won't prevent the lessors from repossessing the aircraft.

Edit: yikes, I was way behind on this, I didn’t know the UK no longer respected the lessors first lien and I thought the issue was settled in Canada after AerCap beat YYC in court over a Zoom 767.

I really need to get out of helicopter land.


Edited by Super 80
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Or not, sometimes airports have held onto the metal until someone paid them.  I guess the Lawyers will have a field day.  So sorry for all of the Thomas Cook staff and then of course the spinoff that will  / might kill some resort centers until someone else fills the void. 

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What will happen to Thomas Cook's airplanes?

Julia Buckley, CNN  Updated 23rd September 20190
(CNN) — On any other day, they'd be crossing continents and pulling up at gates in all corners of the world.
But as of September 23, the 34 planes dressed in Thomas Cook livery were grounded at UK airports because of the travel company's abrupt demise.
The planes have been "stored" in aviation terminology.
That means they're being held -- normally at the airport at which they last landed -- until their owners can move them to a different spot.
The UK government has launched its largest ever peace time repatriation effort to bring home British citizens stranded by the Thomas Cook collapse, with the country's Civil Aviation Authority securing a fleet of aircraft, some from as far away as Malaysia, for the operation.
But while passengers are asking why the empty Thomas Cook planes can't be used to bring them home, the simple answer is that the majority of them do not belong to the airline.
All but three of Thomas Cook's current 34-strong fleet are privately owned and leased out to the airline.
"Many will be leased from head lessors, who own the aircraft, while Thomas Cook effectively pays a mortgage on them," explains Mark Payne, leasing director at aircraft charter specialists Chapman Freeborn.
"When they stop making payments, the aircraft are repossessed. They go back to the owners and the head lessors, who then need to find someone else to take them on. It's a bit like someone defaulting on a mortgage -- the house is repossessed and they need to find someone else to live in it as soon as possible."
Paul Welch, founder and CEO of private jet broker Million Plus, agrees: "Most companies will have lots of aircraft leased so those companies will automatically have made arrangements to requisition the aircraft. Those owned by Thomas Cook will be automatically covered by liquidation or bankruptcy procedures."

Airplanes detained


Although in this case, the owners may have a fight to get their hands on the aircraft. Last night, a photo emerged that purported to be a repossession order on a Thomas Cook-branded plane at Manchester Airport, supposedly for default on payment of airport charges.
Manchester Airport declined to comment.
Glasgow Airport confirmed to CNN that the four Thomas Cook planes which landed on its property yesterday have been "detained on behalf of the airport." And Bristol Airport confirmed it has two grounded planes onsite.
"There are often claims based on fees for slots due to the airport, and various entities -- including the airports -- will look to repossess aircraft in lieu of payments," one leasing industry insider, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told CNN.
"But ultimately whoever owns it has the right to own it. The fees are the responsibility of the airline. So unless that aircraft was owned by Thomas Cook, they won't get to keep it."
What happens to an airline's planes when it goes out of business depends on whether or not it owns them.
If it does, they become assets that are due to the airline's creditors. But if it has leased them, they return to the owner via the head lessor.
When Monarch Airlines collapsed in October 2017, it had 35 aircraft to its name. All were reclaimed by the owners and were re-leased to the likes of easyJet, Aegean Air -- and Thomas Cook, which took four.
"Well looked after planes eventually filter their way back into the market," says Payne. "They're painted up, checks are done, and they come back -- usually to a smaller airline.
"They drop down the tiers -- so they might start with British Airways, then fly for Thomas Cook for a bit, then filter down the system."

On the move

While the bidding begins, the aircraft will need to be moved into storage -- preferably to a cheaper facility.
Five Monarch planes, for example, were stored for nine months at Newquay Airport in Cornwall by Apple Aviation, which handles aircraft maintenance, parking and recycling. Some of those planes went on to be rebranded for Thomas Cook.
And Apple's Newquay hangar should receive some Thomas Cook aircraft next, according to Ryan Winfield, sales and marketing director.
"The leasing company takes the plane back for the owner, and makes sure it is maintained and stored. We park it until they find a new lessee. It could be seven or eight months." Apple also stored planes from Primera Air, which went bust in October 2018, for eight months.
When deciding where to send them, the anonymous leasing insider says that the priority is to move the plane only once. "Ferrying it is extremely expensive, so you try to reposition them to a technical facility that doesn't just store it, but will be able to outfit it for a new operator."

A glut of planes?

Mark Payne says that the demise of Thomas Cook will have a knock-on effect for the aviation market in 2020. Not least because Thomas Cook had ongoing "wet lease" contracts -- whereby the airplane's crew, maintenance and insurance are included in the package with leasing airlines -- including Lithuania-based Avion Express and Latvian SmartLynx, whose own fleets will now be up for grabs.
"There will be a lot of aircraft available, and carriers that flew predominantly for Thomas Cook will need to find another home for their planes next summer. There will be more capacity in the market, and other airlines might feel the pinch because they might not be able to place theirs.
The Boeing 737 MAX -- taken out of service globally because of safety concerns -- is also expected to re-enter the market towards the end of this 2019, meaning that the extra planes airlines have rostered will also be going spare.
"It won't affect things at the moment, because the European market is incredibly seasonal and we're coming out of the summer season. But there will potentially be a lot of unemployed aircraft come Christmas, and next April there may well be a surplus, with aircraft sitting around, which this year was unheard of," says Payne.
Don't get too excited, though -- this doesn't necessarily mean cheaper fares.
"The people suffering will be the aircraft owners," he says. "Airlines might be able to get a slightly better deal and in theory greater availability means potentially cheaper prices, but it's too early to say what the effect on the consumer would be."
Other tour operators including Tui, easyJet and Jet2 will do well from Thomas Cook's demise, he says. And he predicts airlines including Norwegian will snap up the "valuable" slots at London Gatwick and Manchester.
The leasing insider has a rosier vision for the Thomas Cook fleet. "They're mainly Airbus narrowbodies and there's a demand for aircraft right now, so larger lessors shouldn't have difficulty repossessing the aircraft," they say.
'"There'll likely be a short period before you find an operator wanting to use them, and then it'll take time to repaint and update the cabin before they go back into service."
Paul Welch agrees: "This won't lead to over-supply of aircraft -- the demand today and next year is greater than the supply."
Worst case scenario, there's always scrapping.
Aircraft, like cars, lose value quite quickly, says Payne. "There's a depreciation process, and the maintenance requirements become more intense the older they get. Sometimes they're scrapped -- there's a whole industry in spares and parts where the parts are worth more than the aircraft itself."
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