Thomas Cook Group bankruptcy has little impact on the joint venture set between Asian Trails in Thailand and the UK former travel giant, explains Laurent Kuenzle, CEO of Asian Trails in excluvity for ASEAN.travel. The UK activity represents only a marginal share in the company’s business…
Thomas Cook Group and Asian Trails had signed a JV setting a Destination Management Company back to 2018 but the JV business has little impact on the total business of the Bangkok-based company. “The jojnt-venture company takes care of local services such as transfers and optional tours (not hotels which are booked by Thomas Cook directly) for Thomas Cook in Thailand, no other destinations in Asia. Asian Trails is a non-exclusive supplier to the JV company,” explains Laurent Kuenzle, CEO for Asian Trails.
The effect is affecting for the time being only Thomas Cook UK business, which is now closed. According to Kuenzle, there are less than 70 clients in Thailand from Thomas Cook UK at the moment. Repatriation is protected by European consumers laws and assumed by UK Civil Aviation Authority.
” Thomas Cook UK business constitutes less than 5 % of the total Thomas Cook business to Thomas Cook In Destination Management (Thailand) Ltd, the JV company between Thomas Cook and Asian Trails, adds Laurent Kuenzle. The largest business is from Thomas Cook Continental (which covers Central Europe including Germany) and Thomas Cook Nordics (Scandinavia). Thomas Cook France and Thomas Cook China also buy local services from Thomas Cook In Destination Management (Thailand) Ltd. ,” he further explains.
Information provided by the different affiliates of Thomas Cook outside the UK shows that business is normal for the time being for customers already on holiday. In Germany, Thomas Cook Group affiliate Thomas Cook GmbH has been forced to set an emergency business management. Travel sales have been stopped since September 23 however.
According to the website of the company in Germany, Thomas Cook GmbH is currently exploring last options to save the company in Germany. “Should these fail, we will be forced to file for insolvency for Thomas Cook GmbH, Thomas Cook Touristik GmbH and Bucher Reisen & Öger Tours GmbH and possibly also for other companies,” tells the management. Flights of Condor, another Thomas Cook affiliate, are so far not affected with flights going as usual.
” Thomas Cook Nordics confirmed that it is business as usual and that their business will definitely continue. The same can be said for Thomas Cook China that is majority owned by Chinese conglomerate Fosun. They will operate business as usual as highlighted in the press yesterday,” says Kuenzle.
” From Asian Trails ownership to make that clear as well: We have nothing to do with Thomas Cook PLC. We are owned by Fairfax, a Canadian company through Thomas Cook India. Thomas Cook India is a completely different company from Thomas Cook PLC.”