Travel agency jobs go in industry shake-up

A TOWN centre travel agency is to shut with the loss of 10 jobs following the financial difficulties at Thomas Cook.

Going Places at Woolshops, Halifax, is being axed but the nearby Thomas Cook agency at Corn Market is unaffected.

The operator recently merged with the Co-ops travel agency business and yesterday announced the closure of 115 stores. A further 60 stores will be closed over the next two years.

It is not known when the Woolshops branch will close but the consultation period with staff continues until March 17.

Ian Ailles, Thomas Cook UK chief executive officer said: “We’ve undertaken a comprehensive review and the proposals will ensure we have the right stores in the right places. We will now be consulting with those affected and looking at redeployment opportunities.”

The Usdaw union said it had been told the stores earmarked for closure had been selected on the basis of lease expiry dates, financial performance, proximity to other stores and the profile of their customer catchment area.

Thomas Cook reported a £398 million loss for the year to the end of September.

It had been looking to cut its debts to restore the confidence of investors. In November, it secured £200 million of new financing, just days after seeing its shares plunge 75 per cent in one day.

The announcement affects 60 stores from the Thomas Cook/Going Places estate, 47 stores from the Co-operative Group, and eight from the Midlands Co-operative Society.