Thomas Cook Resurrected as Online Travel Firm by Chinese Owner

Thomas Cook relaunched Wednesday as an online travel firm that will initially sell holidays to destinations on the U.K. government’s safe travel corridor list.

The company, bought by China’s Fosun Group for 11 million pounds ($14 million) after collapsing last year, has a new website through which customers can design their trips with add-ons including car hire and travel insurance, it said in a statement.

Thomas Cook’s collapse led to 9,000 job losses in the U.K. and left 150,000 tourists stranded overseas. The revamped company is using a trust model to protect payments and will only receive customers’ money once they return from holiday, U.K. Chief Executive Officer Alan French said. Holidaymakers won’t be charged fees to rearrange their trips if government rules change, he said.

Fosun, owned by Chinese billionaire Guo Guangchang, acquired the Thomas Cook brand and online assets in November. The Shanghai-based group’s other assets include Club Med SAS and include English Premier League soccer club Wolverhampton Wanderers. Fosun operates various businesses under listed units Fosun Tourism Group, Fosun International Ltd. and Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group Co.

“We are launching now clearly aware of the short-term challenges posed by the pandemic,” French said. “We and our Fosun backers are taking the long view.”

Fosun Tourism rose 5.9% as of 1:37 p.m. in Hong Kong, heading for its biggest gain in a month. The stock has fallen 24% since Nov. 1, when the acquisition was agreed.

– Bloomberg

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