B Away on Holiday plans at least two more new branches in the southeast after opening its sixth shop, in Buckinghamshire.

Five former Thomas Cook staff who lost their jobs in the travel giant’s collapse have been employed to work at the latest shop in Chorleywood, a former fashion boutique.

Managing director Jeremy Scott, who launched B Away in 2001, said: “They are a really good team and I just say to them ‘do the best you can’. We cannot afford to lose quality staff out of the industry.

“Their job is to make the phones ring. I do not like giving people targets – one week it is one thing and then the next week it is the other. They are really nice people and we’ve been able to give them an opportunity.”

The agency now has 32 staff across six branches, in Pinner, Amersham, Haslemere, Kings Langley, Rickmansworth and now Chorleywood, which opened on January 4.

“We are not in a volume market,” Scott said. “It is about offering a service to people that are loyal.”

Asked how many more shops he planned to open, Scott said: “Two, maybe three, maybe four. It depends on the opportunities that arise. In our catchment area there are two or three [potential new] agencies.”

Scott confirmed he was in talks to acquire two further agencies.

Reflecting on the situation nationally, he said: “There are quite a lot of openings – by the likes of Barrhead Travel and Polka Dot Travel – but staffing is not easy.”

Scott plans to set up an apprenticeship scheme with West Herts College in Watford to try to recruit young staff.