The union representing Thomas Cook staff in the UK has said the travel giant must be rescued “no matter what”.

The Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA), which has members at Thomas Cook both in high street shops in its office operations, joined the British Airline Pilots Association in demanding government intervention if necessary.

Thomas Cook is trying to secure a rescue deal led by Chinese firm Fosun but creditor banks issued a last-minute demand that the travel company find an extra £200 million contingency funding.

This has led to speculation Thomas Cook could fall into administration as early as this weekend.

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TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes said Thomas Cook “must be rescued not matter what”.

“Our members are going through a time of great stress and worry over their futures. We will, of course, do all we can to help – but what’s needed now is clarity about the future of the company.

“Thomas Cook must be rescued no matter what. This is not just about the threat of losing jobs and an iconic brand from our high streets but the fact that if Thomas Cook goes under, we will be left with just one major travel operator – Tui – controlling the mass market.

“That would be in no-one’s interests – a lack of competition will always lead to a hike in prices. If need be the government must step in to ensure Thomas Cook’s survival.”

Unite union which represents civil aviation workers has also called on the government to intervene to ensure the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) does not remove Thomas Cook airline’s operating licence.

The union represents almost 3,000 cabin crew and engineers at Thomas Cook’s airline.

Unite said the airline is financially and operationally viable and warned that the removal of it operator licence would be “economic vandalism”.

Assistant general secretary Diana Holland said: “We are deeply concerned about the current situation at Thomas Cook, particularly any moves by the government or the Civil Aviation Authority that would lead to the business and airline ceasing to operate.

“It is clearly in the best interests of the employees, customers and the taxpayer for the airline to continue operate. This is viable, profitable business with a world class workforce. Any revoking of its operating licence would be an act of economic vandalism, the bill for which would needlessly land on the shoulders of UK taxpayers.

“We call on government ministers to secure a better outcome for the travelling public, employees and the taxpayer by not revoking or suspending the operator licence for Thomas Cook airlines. It is in their remit to do so, and it would ensure that there is the ability for the company continue as a sustainable business.”

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