Holidaymakers were feeling jittery on Friday 11th May when Thomas Cook shares suffered a price crash. A whopping 40 per cent drop was enough to send an avalanche of worried customers to social media to ask for reassurance about their holiday plans.
The company promptly promised that it has “ample cash to operate” and that trips are not cancelled. The holiday operator confirmed that it was “business as usual” and that customers should not worry as all of its holidays were protected by Atol, the UK holiday protection scheme. A recent tweet said:
“the recent media speculation has no impact on our operations, it’s business as usual and you’ll still be going away. To give you extra peace of mind, if you have a package holiday, it is fully ATOL protected, so your money and holiday are safe.”
The company’s shares took a huge dip on Friday to below 12p each. This was the biggest drop since Thomas Cooked nearly collapsed in 2011. A spokesperson for Thomas Cook said:
“In the last few days we have had a number of discussions with our suppliers to explain the ample resources we have to continue to do business as well as our strengthening liquidity position.
“We remain in discussions with our Nordic card supplier and we are confident that we will reach an acceptable solution in the coming days.”
What is Thomas Cook doing to turn around its fortunes?
In an effort to reassure clients on twitter and Facebook Thomas Cook affirmed that it had taken “sensible steps” to secure additional funds from banks. In the short term they have organised a financial backstop of £300m in case it is needed.
In the longer term the company is looking to sell its airline business and its 100 or so aircraft, to reduce debt. Lufthansa and Virgin Atlantic are eyeing up part of the business but it could take some time to strike a deal.