Ken Skates AM, Minister for Economy and Transport
Last month I provided members with an update on Thomas Cook after it ceased trading on 23 September. Since then my officials and I have been in close liaison with the UK Government and other organisations, and have been involved in regular discussions at the COBR committee as part of the repatriation programme. We have also been actively involved in the National Task Force for Thomas Cook which is collectively pooling Government intelligence and action on the economic impact of Thomas Cook and job losses.
The last repatriation flight landed in Manchester on 7 October. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), working with a range of partners, arranged a total of 746 flights and repatriated over 140,000 passengers. This was no mean task. I am grateful for the professionalism and speed shown by the CAA during this time.
The CAA has now launched online refund claims forms for customers affected by the liquidation of Thomas Cook. This will be used to refund more than 360,000 bookings for Thomas Cook ATOL protected holidays, covering trips that would have been taken by 800,000 people. Details can be found at https://thomascook.caa.co.uk/refunds/
I can also confirm that Hays Travel Limited has purchased Thomas Cook’s 555 retail outlets and has recruited over 400 former Thomas Cook employees. I have written to John Hays, Managing Director, asking for more detail of his plans for the retail outlets and former employees here in Wales.
I am also grateful for the number of travel agent companies in Wales which have held recruitment days for former Thomas Cook employees.