Spooked customers could go elsewhere to secure travel
Tui Travel could gain market share if negative publicity about Thomas Cook continues, pushing consumers to look elsewhere. As reported, Thomas Cook postponed the release of its full-year financial results this week as it negotiates with banks for an additional loan to see it through December. This comes a month after it secured a separate loan facility with banks. According to media reports this week, it plans to close 200 shops and reduce its fleet of aircraft by six planes.
“You have to fear that consumers might think it’s safer to go with [Tui-owned] Thomson than Cook,” one financial analyst in London said. “Hotel suppliers might also tighten terms for Cook because of the uncertainty and could favour Thomson in the battle to get rooms in the best-performing hotels.”
However, Thomas Cook’s interim chief executive, Sam Weihagen, said: “We are trading as usual in all our businesses – customers should not worry at all.”
[pictured: Mountain near St Moritz, Switzerland; © 2009 TUI AG]