Hays Travel has made its first booking from a former Thomas Cook shop that has been acquired by Hays Travel.

Hays acquired the leases for all 555 Cook shops earlier this week after the latter went into liquidation on September 23.

Some stores were up and running as early as Thursday morning.

The first booking from the newly-acquired branch in the Denmark Centre in South Shields was made on Friday when a customer popped in to see former Cook agent Maureen Carnell.

With no booking systems yet operating, fellow ex-Cook agent Kerry Grieves dashed to the existing Hays Travel store in the Nook, less than three miles away in South Shields, to book the flight, while Gemma Critchlow and Nicola Callaghan held the fort.

Callaghan, branch manager, said: “This was a massive team effort and exactly proves how we are going to be able to work together to make sure all our shops keep doing great business. We are all delighted to be working with new colleagues – who are all part of the family now and like us value fantastic customer service.”

Hays Travel managing director John Hays said: “We meant it when we said the travel industry is a family and we look after each other – we’re delighted to hear about the first of many bookings being made by teams all over the country.  It’s a tribute to the commitment of everyone – now thousands of people – who are really determined to support the growth of Hays Travel for the benefit of us all.”