Source: UK Government
On 23 September 2019, winding up orders were made against Thomas Cook Group plc and associated companies. The court appointed the Official Receiver as the Liquidator.
The court has appointed Special Managers to assist the Official Receiver with the liquidation. Insolvency Practitioners from AlixPartners have been appointed as Special Managers over the airline and tour operator companies. Insolvency Practitioners from KPMG LLP have been appointed as Special Managers to the Group’s retail division and to its aircraft maintenance companies.
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Sale of Thomas Cook’s UK airport slots at Gatwick and Bristol to easyJet
The Official Receiver and Special Managers from KPMG UK have confirmed that airport slots at London Gatwick (LGW) and Bristol Airport (BRS) belonging to Thomas Cook have been sold and transferred to easyJet.
This transaction marks the first to be announced in relation to Thomas Cook’s UK airport slots portfolio. The sale price was £36 million.
This outcome has been facilitated by the collaborative approach of Thomas Cook’s commercial partners at UK airports and the support of both internal and external slot co-ordinators.
Sale of Thomas Cook’s UK retail estate
An agreement has been reached with Hays Travel Limited to acquire Thomas Cook’s entire UK retail estate.
Hays Travel will acquire a total of 555 stores around the UK, providing re-employment opportunities for former employees of Thomas Cook’s retail operations who were made redundant following the appointment of the Official Receiver as liquidator on 23 September 2019.
Following the appointment of the Official Receiver, Hays Travel have recruited 421 former Thomas Cook personnel and there are further offers to former employees.
Former employees reemployed by Hays Travel will not have their eligibility for redundancy payments affected.
Former employees of Thomas Cook interested in job opportunities are invited to contact Hays Travel on 0800 215 5995 or visit Hays Travel website.
Information for customers
All Thomas Cook bookings, including flights and holidays, have now been cancelled. All of Thomas Cook’s retail shops will close with immediate effect.
The Government is working with the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to help passengers return to the UK. Depending on your location, this will be either on CAA-operated flights or by using existing flights with other airlines. This will apply to both ATOL protected passengers and those who are not protected.
If you are already abroad you will find all the information you need about your arrangements to return to the UK on the CAA website.
If you are due to depart from a UK airport with Thomas Cook Airlines, please do not travel to your UK airport as your flight will not be operating and you will not be able to travel. Further information is available on the CAA’s website.
If you have paid the Thomas Cook companies in liquidation for goods or services that you haven’t received, you will need to register as a creditor in the liquidation.
If you have unredeemed Thomas Cook gift cards, please register as a creditor.
Further information on claiming a refund for an ATOL protected holiday is available on the CAA’s website.
If you have booked Thomas Cook flights only and are not ATOL protected, you may be able to get your money back by claiming a refund from your card issuer. Please contact your card issuer as soon as possible and further information, including time limits that apply, is available from the UK Cards Association’s Credit and debit cards: A consumer guide.
Unsolicited refund approaches
The Official Receiver is aware that Thomas Cook customers are being offered refunds in exchange for an upfront payment and bank details. Do not engage with any such approaches and report them immediately to the Official Receiver via ThomasCook.Liquidator@insolvency.gov.uk and Action Fraud UK.
Information for employees
If you have been told that you are being made redundant, the information in this section provides advice about claiming money you’re owed and where you can seek support.
Who is eligible?
You can apply to the Insolvency Service for redundancy and other payments if:
you worked for these companies under an employment contract
you live in England, Scotland or Wales
You can’t apply to the Insolvency Service if you live in Northern Ireland. Find out about your rights in Northern Ireland if your employer is insolvent.
If you live outside of England, Scotland and Wales, and also spent the majority of your employment outside of England, Scotland, and Wales, you will need to apply to the redundancy scheme in that jurisdiction.
How to apply
The Special Managers will give you details about how to apply and will also give you a case reference number (for example CN12345678).
Once you have this information you can apply online.
What you can apply for
What you can apply for depends on your circumstances. The Insolvency Service can pay:
redundancy pay: if you’ve worked for Thomas Cook for at least 2 years
pro rata holiday pay (known as ‘holiday pay accrued’): the leave you were entitled to take between the start of your leave year and the date you were made redundant
If you have already taken the leave you are entitled to, you will not be due a holiday pay accrued (HPA) payment
holiday pay taken (HPT): if Thomas Cook hasn’t paid you for annual leave you took before being made redundant
money you’re owed by Thomas Cook, for example unpaid wages, overtime and commission
statutory notice pay: if you’ve worked for Thomas Cook for at least 1 month
There are caps on what we can pay you for each type of claim. Find out how much we can pay you.
More information about holiday pay
We process and pay HPT and HPA payments separately, so you may receive two separate letters at different times about these payments.
Some employees have received a letter telling them that they will not be paid holiday pay. This may be because the information we have so far received from Thomas Cook doesn’t say that you are owed holiday pay. Claims rejected for this reason are being individually reviewed, without the need for re-submission and will be paid as soon as we can verify what is owed.
Paying your claim
On average the Insolvency Service’s redundancy payments service pays redundancy and related claims within 14 days of receipt of information.
Special arrangements are being put in place to pay sooner if practicable to do so.
Find more information about what we can pay.
Redundancy: help finding work and claiming benefits.
Employees of Thomas Cook’s airline and tour operator companies should approach AlixPartners for further information about how to make a claim via their dedicated website.
Employees of Thomas Cook’s retail and aircraft maintenance companies should approach KPMG via their dedicated website or via the following email addresses:
retail company employees should email TCemployees@kpmg.co.uk
aircraft maintenance employees should email TCAELemployees@kpmg.co.uk
Please don’t contact us about how to claim or to check the status of your application. This will help us deal with everyone’s application as quickly as possible.
Information for creditors
You will need to register as a creditor in the liquidation if:
you have unredeemed Thomas Cook gift cards
you haven’t been paid for goods or services you’ve supplied to the Thomas Cook companies in liquidation
you have paid the Thomas Cook companies in liquidation for goods or services that you haven’t received
you are a worker or self-employed contractor who provided services to any of the Thomas Cook companies in liquidation
To register as a creditor you will need to complete a Proof of Debt form which you should then email to the Special Managers.
Creditors of Thomas Cook’s airline and tour operator companies will need to complete a Proof of Debt form and submit to AlixPartners. Further information can be found on AlixPartners’ dedicated website.
Creditors of Thomas Cook’s retail and aircraft maintenance companies will need to complete a Proof of Debt form and submit to KPMG. Further information be found on KPMG’s dedicated website.
Once you have registered and the Special Manager receives your Proof of Debt form they will add you to the list of creditors and include you on future correspondence about the case.
Outstanding personal injury claims
Thomas Cook was managing a large number of personal injury claims from former customers. Generally these claims are not covered by insurance and they will be treated as unsecured creditors in the liquidation. It is very unlikely that sufficient funds will be realised from the sale of assets to make payments against these claims.
The government has announced that it intends to develop a statutory compensation scheme to provide for those customers facing the most serious hardship as a result of injuries or loss of life. Further details of the scheme, including eligibility, will be announced when Parliament returns after the general election.
Read the Business Secretary’s statement to Parliament
Information for shareholders
Thomas Cook Group plc’s listing with the London Stock Exchange has been suspended. At the present time Thomas Cook shares cannot be traded on the exchange.
Unfortunately, as a result of the liquidation appointments, there is no prospect of a return to Thomas Cook’s shareholders.
Shareholders should be aware of any approaches in the form of third parties offering to dispose of their shares, in exchange for the up-front payment of fees. The FCA website has information about how to avoid and report share scams.
Companies in liquidation and Special Manager appointments
On 23 September 2019 Simon Appell, Alastair Beveridge, Dan Imison and Ben Browne of AlixPartners were appointed Special Managers to assist the Official Receiver carry out his duties in the following airline and tour operator companies in liquidation:
Thomas Cook Airlines Limited
Thomas Cook Group Treasury Limited
Thomas Cook Tour Operations Limited
Thomas Cook Airlines Treasury plc
Thomas Cook In Destination Management Limited
Thomas Cook Group Tour Operations Limited
Thomas Cook Group plc
Thomas Cook Money Limited
Thomas Cook Services Limited
My Travel Group Limited
Thomas Cook Investments (2) Limited
Thomas Cook Continental Holdings Limited
Blue Sea Overseas Investments Limited
Thomas Cook Group UK Limited
Thomas Cook Finance 2 Plc
Thomas Cook Group Airlines Limited
Thomas Cook West Investments Limited
Thomas Cook UK Limited
Thomas Cook UK Travel Limited
Further information is available on AlixPartners dedicated website.
On 23 September 2019 Blair Nimmo, Jim Tucker, David Pike, Mike Pink and Ben Leith of KPMG were appointed Special Managers to assist the Official Receiver carry out his duties in the following retail and aircraft maintenance companies in liquidation:
Thomas Cook Aircraft Engineering Limited
Thomas Cook Retail Limited
TCCT Retail Limited
The Freedom Travel Group Limited
Future Travel Limited
Travel and Financial Services Limited
Retail Travel Limited
Further information is available on KMPG dedicated website.