Comment: Cook’s decision to pull the plug was all but inevitable

Comment: Cook’s decision to pull the plug was all but inevitable

Thomas Cook’s decision to stop selling Jet2holidays was probably inevitable. Why would the number-two in the UK and Europe provide a leg up to a rival hot on its heels as a UK operator?

Yet the decision conflicts with UK managing director Chris Mottershead’s assertion in late 2015 that: “If customers want to book through someone else, why wouldn’t I want that booking?”

Agents’ access to package holidays shrank following the mergers of Tui‑Thomson/First Choice and Cook/ MyTravel in 2007 as both groups focused on their own product.

Access shrank further with the demise of XL Leisure in 2008.

Back in 2010, Jet2holidays’ programme ran to just 100,000 passengers. Capacity cuts by Cook and Monarch’s subsequent retrenchment left room to grow as holiday demand returned and, with it, demand for protected packages. Jet2 filled it.

What an opportunity this presents for independent agents. We’ve not seen the like in a decade.

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