All of the take-off and landing slots in te airports in the United Kingdom that were earlier owned by the now collapsed travel company Thomas Cook has been bought out by EasyJet and Jet2.com.
The UK government’s liquidation service said the EasyJet has bought out all of the slots at London Gatwick and Bristol for a deal worth £36m. It further said that slots at Manchester, Birmingham and Stansted airports were bought by Jet2.com but no amount for the deal was disclosed.
The UK business of Thomas Cook was put into an insolvency state in September this year following its collapse and a court alter appointed an official receiver to oversee the sale of the assets of the company for repaying debts of the company.
Eight winter slot pairs and 12 summer take-off and landing slots, called pairs, at Gatwick was bought by EasyJet. Six summer slot pairs and one winter slot pair were also bought by the company at Bristol.
The presence of the airline at each airport will be expanded by the newly bought slots by the company.
New ways to board passengers at the London airport is being tried out with EasyJet, Gatwick says. The measures that are being tried out include boarding people in window seats first, starting at the back, followed by middle then aisle seats. There can be a 10 per cent reduction in the journey from airport gate to seat because of the different boarding methods, said Gatwick.
In recent times, there is a lack of new runways in the UK that has the supply of Take-off and landing slots low and as a consequence such slots are highly sought after by carriers. According to The Times, $75m was paid for a single pair of slots at London Heathrow by Oman Air in 2016.
All of the 555 Thomas Cook retail outlets were sold to Hays Travel by the receiver last month which helped in saving of up to 2,500 jobs. The move gave it shops in areas where it had little or no presence, including Scotland and Wales, the independent travel agent said.
A loan from the German government had s helped to rescue Thomas Cook’s Condor airline in Germany. On the other hand, Norwegian billionaire Petter Stordalen and private equity firms Altor and TDR Capital had bought out the collapsed company’s Nordic business last month. 40 per cent stake was taken by Stordalen’s Strawberry group and Altor each while the rest 20 per cent was bought out by TDR Capital.
The deal for Thomas Cook Northern Europe saved 2,300 jobs.
(Adapted from BBC.com)