• Morgan Fagg

If Thomas Cook asked me for £150 million, I’d give it to them

Updated: Sep 24, 2019

A Spanish student asked me to explain the fall-out of Thomas Cook today and I naturally I told her that I knew of the company but it was more famous in the UK than the rest of Europe and I didn’t know that they employed so many people.

She was asking me to explain what it meant by COLLAPSING and I told her that I had to look more in-dept at the details to understand the choice of wording. Normally when a company fails, we would use words like bankrupt as opposed to collapsing but we went through the following article from the Irish Times which I will use as the source of much of the information I am quoting.


Tomas Cook has been well promoted over the years but I have never booked a holiday with them and since the start of the new millennium I have relied on online bookings for my flights and accommodation. That said I have only being going to European destinations where I didn’t have to worry about local guides or anything so exotic as organising safaris in Africa.

Thomas Cook is a very old company and I read that it was almost 178 years old which is impressive as I can’t imagine many English people had heard of Australia never mind wanted to visit the prison colony which was only discovered by Captain Cook in 1770.

We can hardly say that there has been too many Cooks but the figures are sky-high here and maybe they should have Cooked the books as over a billion was needed for a rescue package. 21,000 jobs on-the-line and 150,000 holiday-makers from the UK stranded with a further 350,000 people from outside the UK using their services too.

Despite online booking, it sounds like half a million people are stranded in various parts of the world which poses a huge problem on so many fronts.

One, how much will it cost to accommodate and repatriate people back to their country?

Two, how can a company recover from stranding half a million people?

Three, how can a company recover from cancelling all their current flights?

Cleary the CEO hasn’t deserved the 20 million he has received in bonuses over the last 5 years but if I was Boris Johnson and Thomas Cook asked me to bail them out to the tune of £150 million, I’d sign a cheque. Yes it is a lot of money for taxpayers but with 60 million people in the UK to fund it, it sounds like a small price to pay at less the 3 quid per person. Peanuts.

Of course it opens Pandora’s box and other companies will immediately seek money when their businesses fail post-Brexit but £150 million is peanuts when you consider the £100 million information campaign that Boris Johnson announced to sell Brexit.

I hate to use the word propaganda but £100 million might be better spent on getting people home than making them feel better about not being able to travel as often and the benefits of their Blue Passport.

£150 million would clearly not cover the costs of Thomas Cook but when you consider the costs associated with Monarch Airlines problems a few years ago, it cost £60 million to help 85,000 stranded passengers. With more than 5 times as many people stuck and cancelling their holiday plans, I’m estimating 300-500 millions will be required to rescue passengers.

My estimate is based on 60 million for 85,000 multiplied by 5 and then an additional couple of hundred million because it is such a bigger effort required and I imagine more people being stranded for much longer.

Brexiteers wanted the Blitz but they will first have to deal with Dunkirk first.

£150 million is nothing, well nothing when you think of the costs associated with Donald Trump playing golf at his Mar-a-Largo. In fact the Huffington Post reported in May before his expensive trip to Ireland that he had already exceeded $100 million in golf trips.

I’m not sure that £150 million would even buy you a couple of second hand planes when you consider the costs of an Airbus A321 is going to be over a £100m a piece.

Why waste £100 million on a propaganda campaign when leaflets will only be good for making paper planes and that money could rescue an airline ready to fold.

There is £100 million going in the bin, I’d invest it in getting people home and trying to salvage a company that employs more than 20,000 people rather than throwing paper planes into the mounting pile of papers building up as Brexit questions everything we think we know about European aviation.

3 quid might not fix this but it might be cheaper than salvaging the wreckage.

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