Booking rise at Thomas Cook Airlines, but no plans to sell it off for now

posted on 31st July 2018 by Justin Burns
Booking rise at Thomas Cook Airlines, but no plans to sell it off for now

Travel group Thomas Cook said its airline business saw a 15 per cent rise in bookings during its third quarter (Q3) with demand for short-haul offsetting a decline in long-haul flight bookings but the company’s overall finances were impacted by the heatwave.

Overall Q3 financial figures for the travel group showed gross profit fell three per cent to £443 million in the three months to June 30, while underlying earnings were up eight per cent to £14 million.

However, media speculation that the holiday company will sell-off its airline business has been rebuffed by chief executive, Peter Fankhauser according to a report by Reuters.

He said it was not currently planning on a sale, but he reportedly stopped short of ruling it out at some point in the future and Reuters reports Fankhauser said “we are open to play our part in the consolidation when it makes sense for our business”.

Yesterday, Thomas Cook Airlines announced its full summer 2019 long-haul programme, including new flights to Montego Bay and more flights to Seattle, Orlando and Cancun.

It will fly from Manchester, London Gatwick and Glasgow to 13 destinations in the USA, the Caribbean and Mexico. The airline will also strengthen its core long-haul fleet with an Airbus A332.

Based at Manchester Airport, it increases the Thomas Cook Airlines fleet of A332s to eight and the group airline total long-haul fleet to 27. Thomas Cook Airlines is Manchester’s largest long-haul carrier.

Seattle, which launched in May this year, will increase from two flights a week to three (the same frequency as San Francisco), Cancun will fly daily (same as New York) and 13 flights a week will go to Orlando at peak season, a growth of 21 per cent compared to summer 18. Montego Bay is a brand new long-haul destination.