Hays Travel, the company which acquired Thomas Cook stores across the UK, has today announced that up to 878 out of 4,500 employees could lose their jobs due to the impact of COVID-19 on the travel sector.
As part of the acquisition, the Sunderland-based firm took on more than 2,000 former Thomas Cook employees in October 2019.
John and Irene Hays, the company’s owners, said Spanish travel restrictions meant thousands of UK holidaymakers had to cancel their plans. In July, the government brought back a 14-day quarantine for travellers returning to the UK from Spain after a spike in coronavirus cases. The Foreign Office later updated its advice against all non-essential travel to Spain to include the Balearic and Canary Islands as well as the mainland – all popular destinations for UK holidaymakers.
A statement from Hays Travel read: “We are devastated that after all of our efforts and the huge investment we’ve made, we now face losing some of our valued employees, through no fault of their own. Following the decision to ban travel to Spain and the changes in furlough conditions coming at the same time, we have had no choice.”