13:11 GMT +323 October 2019
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    General view of the German headquarters of Thomas Cook travel firm in Oberursel, near Frankfurt, Germany September 23, 2019

    Path to Collapse: A Look at the History of UK Travel Company Thomas Cook

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Thomas Cook Group, a UK travel company that includes a tour operator and airline by the same name, collapsed on Monday, stranding hundreds of thousands of tourists. All of the company’s bookings, including flights, were immediately cancelled.

    Thomas Cook Group plc, founded in 1841 by a businessman Thomas Cook, was one of the oldest travel companies in the world.

    In 1928, the organisation was sold to Belgian owners, but in 1948 it was nationalised and became part of the state-owned British Railways.

    The company became private again in 1972, after which a series of mergers and acquisitions took place.

    In 2001, German travel group C and N Touristic AG bought Thomas Cook and Son and renamed it Thomas Cook AG.

    On February 12, 2007, Thomas Cook AG announced its merger with MyTravel Group plc, which resulted in the formation of Thomas Cook Group plc on 19 June 2007.

    The company had more than 20,000 employees and operated in 16 countries. Thomas Cook (the United Kingdom), Neckermann (Continental Europe) and Spies Tjareborg ving (Northern Europe) are the company’s tour operators.

    In 2011, the oldest Russian holding company Intourist was included in the Thomas Cook Group plc group of companies.

    In March 2019, the UK travel company announced its plans to buy Russia’s Biblio Globus tour operator.

    Thomas Cook Group owns Thomas Cook Airlines and German airline Condor and has over 100 aircraft.

    A Condor airlines Airbus A321 stands on the tarmac at the airport in Budapest, Hungary
    © REUTERS / Laszlo Balogh
    A Condor airlines Airbus A321 stands on the tarmac at the airport in Budapest, Hungary

    Thomas Cook Hotels and Resorts is the hotel division that unites eight hotel brands.

    Peter Fankhauser is the group’s chief executive officer, and Frank Meysman is a non-executive chairman of the board.

    The company’s profit in 2018 amounted to 7.39 million pounds (over $9 million).

    Recently, the company has experienced problems with loan-servicing tasks.

    In August 2019, it entered into an agreement with the largest Chinese shareholder, Fosun Tourism Group, concluding a rescue deal for 900 million ponds, but, on 23 September, the company announced its involuntary bankruptcy.


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