Thomas Cook set to return as an online-only travel agent

Thomas Cook’s Chinese owner plans to relaunch the 178-year-old brand in the midst of the biggest crisis the tourism industry has ever seen.

As airlines and tour operators battle for survival, conglomerate and investment firm Fosun plans to bring back the holiday company as an online travel agent, a year after its demise.

An announcement could be made in the coming days, according to Sky News. 

Thomas Cook¿s Chinese owner Fosun, plans to bring back the holiday company as an online travel agent, a year after its demise

Thomas Cook¿s Chinese owner Fosun, plans to bring back the holiday company as an online travel agent, a year after its demise

Thomas Cook’s Chinese owner Fosun, plans to bring back the holiday company as an online travel agent, a year after its demise

But this hinges on whether Fosun can secure the green light from regulators, as well as whether ministers plan to introduce any new quarantine restrictions on British citizens returning from abroad.

The new version of Thomas Cook will just sell holidays online and will not have its own airline, High Street shops or hotels.

Britain’s oldest travel company collapsed last September under huge debts.

Its downfall triggered Britain’s biggest ever peacetime repatriation, with the Government and the Civil Aviation Authority stepping in to bring more than 150,000 stranded holiday makers back home.

Fosun, which was Thomas Cook’s largest shareholder, bought the brand and other intellectual property assets for £11million following its demise. 

The conglomerate had previously agreed to contribute to a £900million rescue package but the deal fell apart when lenders including Royal Bank of Scotland demanded another £200million at the 11th hour.

Fosun’s chairman and co-founder Guo Guangchang has billed himself as China’s answer to Warren Buffet.

The 53-year-old billionaire is perhaps best known in the UK as chairman of football club Wolves, who finished seventh in the Premier League last season. 

But his empire – which is based in Shanghai – spans healthcare, fashion, tourism and property.

Guo is estimated to be worth around £5.2billion and has a majority stake. He and four fellow graduates of Shanghai’s prestigious Fudan University founded Fosun in 1992.

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