a380heavy
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Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Mon Feb 12, 2007 4:24 pm

Just announced on Sky News - Mytravel and Thomas Cook are to merge. That's all the news they have at the moment, however, Reuters announced the following an hour ago:

Quote:
LONDON (Reuters) - British package holiday company MyTravel (MT.L: Quote, Profile , Research) and Thomas Cook, its Germany-based rival, are in advanced talks about a merger of equals, with a deal likely as early as Monday, the Financial Times reported.

The two firms were working on the final details, the newspaper said on its Web site, without citing sources.

The structure of the deal remained unclear but shareholders of MyTravel -- a 1.1 billion pound company -- would receive shares in the combined group, according to the FT.

A comment was not immediately available from MyTravel or Thomas Cook, owned by German retailer KarstadtQuelle (KARG.DE: Quote, Profile , Research).

The FT said a merger would have a big impact on the auction of First Choice's (FCD.L: Quote, Profile , Research) package holiday business.

The British competitor is in talks with a number of parties, including MyTravel and Thomas Cook, over the possible sale of the business.

KarstadtQuelle agreed to buy the 50 percent of Thomas Cook it did not own from Deutsche Lufthansa (LHAG.DE: Quote, Profile , Research) in December for 800 million euros (534 million pounds).

My questions are:

(1) How do you see the merged companies airlines shaping up in terms of aircraft type, numbers and any new aircraft requirements?

(2) What now for First Choice? - a takeover of their package holiday business has been muted for some time now.

Your thoughts please.

A380Heavy
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yvr1968
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RE: Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Mon Feb 12, 2007 4:26 pm

This would create one HUGE travel company!
 
TriStar500
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RE: Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Mon Feb 12, 2007 4:56 pm

Future fleet development will most likely follow the strategy of the parent company (Thomas Cook), thus facilitating a large combined replacement order for various subfleets in TC's European fleets, e.g. DE's ageing B763's or some of TCK's older B757's..
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aidoair
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RE: Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Mon Feb 12, 2007 7:20 pm

Well i wonder what this will mean for the airlines and which brand will be favored most, if not a new one created?
 
diesel1
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RE: Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Mon Feb 12, 2007 7:57 pm

Quoting TriStar500 (Reply 2):

I believe your prediction of a large combined replacement order will prove to be correct

However, I do not think that any existing strategy (from either Thomas Cook or MyTravel) is a sure fire cert to be used.

Given the order will almost certainly be larger than anything already suggested there will almost inevitably be an opportunity for the new company to get the manufacturers to come up with some very appealing options in the (manufacturers) desire to pick up what will be a substantial order.
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schooner
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RE: Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Mon Feb 12, 2007 8:06 pm

The airline will almost certainly remain Thomas Cook. The parent company that results from the merger is to be named Thomas Cook Group & although it is written as a "merger" the senior partner will be TCX.

Cheers.
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Humberside
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RE: Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Mon Feb 12, 2007 8:12 pm

Surprising News

Quoting A380Heavy (Thread starter):
(1) How do you see the merged companies airlines shaping up in terms of aircraft type, numbers and any new aircraft requirements?

Overall I would expect to see a slightly reduced fleet. AFAIK the only overlap between MyTravel and Thomas Cook is in the UK. At airports like LGW and MAN, the number of based aircraft maybe slightly reduced in order to reduce duplication (e.g. to PMI, TFS etc). Would be nice to think these aircraft wiould be allocated to new regional bases but unfortuantely I doubt it

Quoting A380Heavy (Thread starter):
(2) What now for First Choice? - a takeover of their package holiday business has been muted for some time now.

The two most likely bidders are not going to be interested. The only other rumoured bidder is Virgin. Unsurprisingly First Choice shares have slumped this morning
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FlyingColours
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RE: Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Mon Feb 12, 2007 8:35 pm

Quoting Humberside (Reply 6):
Overall I would expect to see a slightly reduced fleet. AFAIK the only overlap between MyTravel and Thomas Cook is in the UK. At airports like LGW and MAN, the number of based aircraft maybe slightly reduced in order to reduce duplication (e.g. to PMI, TFS etc).

True, but those aircraft could all be full, so unless a larger aircraft is used to consolidate 2 flights into one (unlikley) then I would imagine the flights still go out together. I know from my time with DP that we had numerous flights to PMI on a Saturday for example (5 I think, 4 757s and 1 A320) all from Manchester but spread out over the course of the day and each one was full, yet both MT & MYT sent aircraft in at the same time. Its a case of how many people want to go there.

Perhaps less busy destinations like the Greek Islands could see a slight reduction though.

Still I'm glad that both these airlines have a future, just slightly upset that one will dissapear.

Of course this gives TCX a great opportunity to rebrand as Flying Colours  Big grin  Silly If only

Phil
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Lite
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RE: Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Mon Feb 12, 2007 8:45 pm

The name of the merged airline will be Thomas Cook Airlines, when you consider that corporate name of the company after this merger will be Thomas Cook, and this will likely be spread through the travel agencies and some of the holiday companies as well. Thomas Cook is a well known brand in the UK, and I would imagine far more punters are aware of it than MyTravel, though I will miss their eye-catching brand, smart uniforms and brightly coloured planes.

With the merger, as has been mentioned, there are going to be some obvious synergies which will probably mean a slight shrinkage of the main bases at LGW and MAN. I wouldn't be so sure though, Humberside, that some of the released aircraft might not be used in the regions. I think the tour operators are waking up to the fact people don't want to drive to LGW or MAN for their summer holidays, hence the popularity of the low-cost airlines in the regions, so we may see some small growth out of town.

Undoubtedly the First Choice merger is off, to merge three tour operators and charter airlines into one would be a logistical nightmare, and wouldn't pass the regulatory requirements. I see First Choice either remaining independent, or potentially being bought out by the mass spending spree that is Virgin.

I'm looking forward in the TCX/MYT merger to see not only a healthier charter airline and tour operator, but also the fleet, base, handling agent and service standardisation that will come out of it.
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Humberside
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RE: Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Mon Feb 12, 2007 8:54 pm

Quoting Lite (Reply 8):
Thomas Cook is a well known brand in the UK, and I would imagine far more punters are aware of it than MyTravel, though I will miss their eye-catching brand, smart uniforms and brightly coloured planes.

I think the only brand that is well known by the public that will disappear is Going Places

Quoting Lite (Reply 8):
I wouldn't be so sure though, Humberside, that some of the released aircraft might not be used in the regions. I think the tour operators are waking up to the fact people don't want to drive to LGW or MAN for their summer holidays, hence the popularity of the low-cost airlines in the regions, so we may see some small growth out of town.

I would love that to be the case. I'm sure they could make a based aircraft work in summer at HUY - they already have a large programme using the usual foreign airlines along with the odd 'w' pattern

However the trend recently has been shut the smaller regeional bases. MYT did this a few years ago and now TOM are doing it (LBA STN with MME, LPL and BRS also under threat) along with XLA (HUY and CWL), The new Thomas Cook opening regional bases would go against this trend
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columba
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RE: Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Mon Feb 12, 2007 9:13 pm

Quoting A380Heavy (Thread starter):
1) How do you see the merged companies airlines shaping up in terms of aircraft type, numbers and any new aircraft requirements?

I can see them ordering 787-3s and -8s in a very near future to replace older 757s and 767s.
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FlyKev
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RE: Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Mon Feb 12, 2007 9:18 pm

This will make an interesting fleet, considering that My travel use mainly airbus planes and thomas cook generally have more boeing planes. The only major similarity here I guess is the A330.
Im also going to guess this will mark the end of My Travel being one of the few charter airlines left offering free meals.

Kev.
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FlyingColours
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RE: Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Mon Feb 12, 2007 9:27 pm

Quoting FlyKev (Reply 11):
This will make an interesting fleet, considering that My travel use mainly airbus planes and thomas cook generally have more boeing planes. The only major similarity here I guess is the A330.

Dont forget the A320  Smile

I suppose this will be the end of the sole surviving MYT 757.

The question is how is the MT 757 heavy & MYT A321 fleet going to mix? I know that My Travel have axed a very large number of A320s & A321s over the past few years to make their fleet size a little more digestible. Perhaps the 321s will get the boot in favour of the 757?

At least they both operate from the same terminal here at MAN, a lot less of a nightmare than if they chose First Choice who operate from T2  Wink

Phil
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EI321
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RE: Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Mon Feb 12, 2007 9:36 pm

Quoting FlyKev (Reply 11):
This will make an interesting fleet, considering that My travel use mainly airbus planes and thomas cook generally have more boeing planes. The only major similarity here I guess is the A330.

Heres the current fleets of both:

MY TRAVEL
A320 5
A321 3
A332 3
B763 2

MY TRAVEL AS
A320 2
A321 5
A332 1
A333 3

THOMAS COOK (Future A321 order?)
A320 9
A332 3
B752 14
B753 2
 
tayaramecanici
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RE: Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Mon Feb 12, 2007 10:21 pm

How does this merger affect the #4 Charter operator MONARCH AIRLINES ? In the war between the charter giants and LCC its the likes of MON that are going to get crushed, i believe.
Looking at the present scenario MON has only 2 options either merge with the likes of excel or sell out.
Interesting.
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schooner
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RE: Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Mon Feb 12, 2007 10:22 pm

Quoting EI321 (Reply 13):
THOMAS COOK (Future A321 order?)
A320 9
A332 3
B752 14
B753 2

Ummm, we only have 4 A320s & the plan was/is to get rid of the rest over the next year or two. Obviously the takeover may change all this.

Cheers.
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Ryanair737
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RE: Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Mon Feb 12, 2007 10:24 pm

Very interesting move, I guess an inclination on this was MYT recieveing a TCX A320 G-BXKB in the next few months.

I wonder what timscale Thomas Cook is working on for the re-painted a/c, re-branded travel shops etc?

Quoting FlyingColours (Reply 12):
I suppose this will be the end of the sole surviving MYT 757.

G-WJAN left MyTravel a while ago.

737
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FlyingColours
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RE: Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Mon Feb 12, 2007 10:29 pm

Quoting Tayaramecanici (Reply 14):
Looking at the present scenario MON has only 2 options either merge with the likes of excel or sell out.

I'd be more worried about Astraeus, if anyone was going to get crushed it would be AEU because they are so small and take a large proportion of passengers from "Going Places".

A merger with Excel would be very itntresting, of course fleet commonality goes right out of the window with that one  Smile

I really hope Monarch stays single because it's the only indipendant charter left with history, (I know AEU is indipendant but it doesn't have a large history) well they have Cosmos but well, ahem.... (falls off high horse)  Smile

Phil
FlyingColours
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Lite
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RE: Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Mon Feb 12, 2007 10:49 pm

I've generally been quite shocked at the decisions of the charter airlines to scale back their operations from regional airports, especially when you consider that this goes right against the trend for regional airports to expand, meaning people don't have to make unnecessary trips across the country to begin their holidays. For me, living close to EMA, I can catch the bus to the airport, or even the train down to BHX, and not have to worry about expensive airport taxis or parking, or the hassles of the motorway, which is surely what most customers want - a personal, local experience. I can't help but think Thomsonfly (with the exception of STN where they must be being squeezed by the low-cost airlines) are being very short-sighted in not realising the huge potential of regional airports, especially over the next few years.

Thomas Cook will probably end up operating an Airbus fleet predominantly, though I think the B757s still have a few years in them yet. The two airlines will have 6 Airbus A330s (not sure how these will be spread across the country), a fairly sizeable Airbus A320 fleet (including MYT's 321s) with the anomalies being the B757 and the small MYT B767 fleets. I personally think the Airbus offers the best mixture for the airlines, with fleet commonality for short, medium and longhaul.

I wonder how the airline will rapidly change their operations with individual airports, for example TCX & MYT both have an aircraft based at EMA, each handled by a different handling agent. Will they keep both planes either benefiting from increased frequencies on certain routes or adding new ones where there is overlap? Does TCX have a preferred handling agent nationwide?
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EI321
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RE: Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Mon Feb 12, 2007 10:53 pm

Quoting Schooner (Reply 15):
Ummm, we only have 4 A320s & the plan was/is to get rid of the rest over the next year or two. Obviously the takeover may change all this.

Sorry about that, I was adding the 5 from the other operation, it must be unrealted?
 
FlyingColours
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RE: Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Mon Feb 12, 2007 10:58 pm

Quoting Ryanair737 (Reply 16):
G-WJAN left MyTravel a while ago.

Ahh, I thought they still had her, I know they were close to bringing PIDS back but stopped.

Quoting Lite (Reply 18):
I wonder how the airline will rapidly change their operations with individual airports

I'd be intrested in how things play out at BRS, My Travel have been fairly consistent over the past few years and have had some aicraft based there but TCX have pulled out of there and only operated a few w-patterns these days.

Quoting Lite (Reply 18):
've generally been quite shocked at the decisions of the charter airlines to scale back their operations from regional airports, especially when you consider that this goes right against the trend for regional airports to expand, meaning people don't have to make unnecessary trips across the country to begin their holidays

While that is true, it is important to think of the costs involved in either basing a crew or aircraft at a small airport or operating w-patterns. In the days of cost cutting it seems that out stations seem to be "a bad idea". I must admit though that I did enjoy flying from other UK airports, it was nice to travel - I don't think that the other crews have the same idea as me there though  Smile

Quoting Ryanair737 (Reply 16):
Very interesting move, I guess an inclination on this was MYT recieveing a TCX A320 G-BXKB in the next few months.

Really? I noticed that My Travel had been removing a lot of A320s with most heading out to Asia, I guess they got a great deal on the lease.

Phil
FlyingColours
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columba
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RE: Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Mon Feb 12, 2007 11:06 pm

Quoting EI321 (Reply 13):
THOMAS COOK (Future A321 order?)
A320 9
A332 3
B752 14
B753 2

Don´t forget Condor´ s 767s.
It will forever be a McDonnell Douglas MD 80 , Boeing MD 80 sounds so wrong
 
Lite
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RE: Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Mon Feb 12, 2007 11:12 pm

Does anybody know if Thomas Cook have any preference in handling agents? At EMA, Servisair handle MyTravel (and before that Airtours), whilst Menzies handle Thomas Cook (and have done since 2005 despite previously being Servisair handled when JMC & Flying Colours.) This is in line with MYT's decision last summer to sign a new contract favouring Servisair in the UK, and would hope that this will continue after the merger.

Quote:


Penauille Servisair, the Global Aviation Ground Services Company 2006, has concluded a major three-year cooperation agreement with MyTravel Airways, one of the UK’s leading holiday and leisure groups. Under the terms of this renewed contract, Penauille Servisair will provide full ground handling services across 21 airports across the UK.

After intensive negotiations, MyTravel Airways selected Penauille Servisair to renew their contract based upon their proven performance record of delivering high-quality services to the end Customer, the passengers.

The two companies will continue to work as business partners by renewing the multi-station deal at airports across the UK at Aberdeen, Blackpool, Belfast, Bournemouth, Bristol, Cardiff, Doncaster, Edinburgh, Nottingham East Midlands, London Gatwick, London Stansted, Glasgow, Humberside, Inverness, Jersey, Leeds, Liverpool, Luton, Newcastle, Sheffield and Durham Tees Valley airports.

Samantha Mackie, MyTravel Airways Customer Service Director comments: “We’re looking forward to continuing our proactive working relationship with Penauille Servisair. They fully understand our aims of delivering consistently high levels of customer care and an outstanding holiday flight experience, whilst assisting us to maintain our excellent standards of on-time departures. We believe that it is imperative to have a partner on the ground that is not only willing to see our customer vision, but can help us to achieve it.”

Darren Harding, Penauille Servisair VP Business Development Low Cost and Charter Carriers, is equally enthusiastic: “We are delighted to have forged this closer professional partnership with MyTravel. Based on our past experience, we look forward to our collaboration to enhance our business process further. We’re convinced that this agreement provides a sound foundation for further developing both our business and our collaboration in the months and years ahead.”

Penauille Servisair will provide comprehensive ground handling services for the MyTravel Airways’ fleet of 19 Airbus 320/321/330 and 3 Boeing 757/767 aircraft. The Services provided by Penauille Servisair will include ticket desk, check-in, passenger and baggage handling, ramp services, fuelling, load control and communications, representation and accommodation, station supervision and administration, surface transport of passengers and crew, flight dispatch, Customer aftercare services and mail handling and aircraft maintenance.



[Edited 2007-02-12 15:15:48]
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diesel1
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RE: Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Mon Feb 12, 2007 11:19 pm

Quoting Tayaramecanici (Reply 14):
How does this merger affect the #4 Charter operator MONARCH AIRLINES ?



Quoting FlyingColours (Reply 17):
I'd be more worried about Astraeus

In both instances the airlines are going to be concerned if they see their customer tour operators merging. It means there will be uncertainty.

However... both these airlines, and the likes of Flyjet / European Air Charter etc. serve a purpose as they are used by Tour Operators for extra capacity where needed, to launch new destinations where existing aircraft may be too large to launch new routes, or to operate seasonal bases without having to commit to all year round manning.
Furthermore there are still independant operators and seat brokers who don't want to use the aircraft of the vertically integrated operators like Thomsonfly. First Choice, MyTravel or Thomas Cook.

Of course Monarch is growing its scheduled business, and Astraeus has its niche operatoins to Africa and oil industry destinations

Quoting Ryanair737 (Reply 16):
I guess an inclination on this was MYT recieveing a TCX A320 G-BXKB in the next few months

I'd just put this down to coincidence.

Quoting Ryanair737 (Reply 16):
wonder what timscale Thomas Cook is working on for the re-painted a/c, re-branded travel shops etc?

Even if the merger is completed by June, then I wouldn't expect to see much change during the rest of this years summer seasons. Growing links maybe, but I'd expect a full review of current operatoins, before the plan for the future is announced.

Quoting FlyingColours (Reply 20):
I'd be intrested in how things play out at BRS, My Travel have been fairly consistent over the past few years and have had some aicraft based there but TCX have pulled out of there and only operated a few w-patterns these days.

Though BRS seems to be in the ascendance for TCX. MYT turned the base into summer only.
TCX have more flights now than the last few years, and there is talk that they will be back with an all year round base. Presuming the merger takes place, then this would seem a definite.

[Edited 2007-02-12 15:28:38]
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schooner
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RE: Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Mon Feb 12, 2007 11:32 pm

Quoting Lite (Reply 22):
Does anybody know if Thomas Cook have any preference in handling agents

Yes we do, the cheapest  Big grin !

Cheers.
Untouched and Alive
 
Ryanair737
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RE: Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Mon Feb 12, 2007 11:35 pm

Quoting Lite (Reply 22):
Does anybody know if Thomas Cook have any preference in handling agents?

TCX use SAS handling at MAN if that is any help.

737
LAST FLIGHTS= Ryanair LPL-BGY-LPL - EI-DPS/DWV - MAY 08 // NEXT FLIGHTS= TBC
 
airman99o
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RE: Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Tue Feb 13, 2007 12:16 am

Hey there,
G-WJAN is now C-FFAN with Skyservice. This 757 has been going back and fourth between MYT and SSV for a few years now, I do believe it is now perm in our fleet. WOW was really shocked to see this today, Wonder how this will affect the agreement between MYT and SSV? OH my hope I don't have to go lookin for another job. Will be nice to actually get some nice 757's across the pond from TCX. Hmmm only time will tell. Hope this works out well and isn't a total PR, HR, nightmare. we all know how well mergers go.
Safety is Everyones Responsibility.
 
LGW
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RE: Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Tue Feb 13, 2007 12:27 am

The back of MYT! Thank god for that. - Interesting news although not totally surprising.

One thing that strikes me as odd is the amount of advertising I see on the box for Airtours and Going Places, why bother when they are part of the parent company, MyTravel? If MyTravel feel the Airtours/Going Places brands are strong and well known then why re-brand anyway?
 
jetset7e7
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RE: Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Tue Feb 13, 2007 12:36 am

Quoting Ryanair737 (Reply 25):
Does anybody know if Thomas Cook have any preference in handling agents?

TCX use SAS handling at MAN if that is any help.

TCX is handled by SAS overwing, and Ringway Handling Services underwing at MAN.
MYT is MyTravel overwing, Ringway Handling Services underwing.

Mark
Retrofitted Blended Winglets - The Future Is On The Wing
 
jmc757
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RE: Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Tue Feb 13, 2007 12:53 am

Quoting Humberside (Reply 9):
I think the only brand that is well known by the public that will disappear is Going Places

Anyone see a major branch closure programme looming, especially in large cities? In Coventry city centre we have 2 Going Places branches and 2 Thomas Cook branches. In both instances they are opposite each other. Now 4 branches in one city will be overkill anwyay, but especially when they are opposite each other. We will obviously lose 2 of the branches. Hope there are not too many job losses as a result of this, that goes accross the board, airlines, head office, retail etc...

Quoting Tayaramecanici (Reply 14):
How does this merger affect the #4 Charter operator MONARCH AIRLINES ? In the war between the charter giants and LCC its the likes of MON that are going to get crushed, i believe.

Monarch will be just fine, remember that more than 50% of their work is their scheduled operation. The scheduled operation is effectively LCC, and is doing very well, they have a lot of loyal fliers and they are constantly growing that side of the business, and have been reducing short haul charter for a while now. I think they will always be in charter, its good easy money, but its not the forefront of their business anymore.
 
FlyingColours
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RE: Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Tue Feb 13, 2007 12:57 am

Quoting LGW (Reply 27):
One thing that strikes me as odd is the amount of advertising I see on the box for Airtours and Going Places, why bother when they are part of the parent company, MyTravel? If MyTravel feel the Airtours/Going Places brands are strong and well known then why re-brand anyway?

Well the Airtours brand is still very strong as far as the tour operator side goes, as an airline it had a bad rep because they had many major delays over a few seasons.

They then refreshed the image of Airtours last year, although the logo looks very "Hoeseasons" to me  Smile

They initially rebranded the parent company "My Travel" to highlight the fact they were more than an Airline, don't forget that aside from the numerous tour operators they had cruise ships, hotels & timeshare apartment complexes to add to the list of their assets. The new name was to reflect that.

Phil
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scbriml
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RE: Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Tue Feb 13, 2007 1:03 am

Quoting Lite (Reply 8):
Thomas Cook is a well known brand in the UK

Thomas Cook is well known around the World. It is the World's first (and therefore oldest) travel company. I was in India last week and most of the currency exchange outlets at the international airports were TC's.
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana!
 
LGW
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RE: Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Tue Feb 13, 2007 1:07 am

Quoting Tayaramecanici (Reply 14):
How does this merger affect the #4 Charter operator MONARCH AIRLINES ? In the war between the charter giants and LCC its the likes of MON that are going to get crushed, i believe.
Looking at the present scenario MON has only 2 options either merge with the likes of excel or sell out.
Interesting

Monarch are very well placed to compete, in fact I think are better than the merger airline will be with a good combination of manageable charter work and an ever increasing, popular and sucessful scheduled brand.

MON merging with XLA would be pure madness and no question, IMHO of selling out, they are a breath of fresh air not being part of a big tour operator (albeit working for, in part Cosmos)
 
tcxdegsy
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RE: Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Tue Feb 13, 2007 2:18 am

Although this article doens't answer much of the aviation queries, this does go a little more into the merger:

"Further acquisitions and growth in online sales and dynamic packaging could all be on the cards following the merger of Thomas Cook and MyTravel.

KarstadtQuelle AG chairman of the management board Dr Thomas Middelhoff, the current owners of Thomas Cook which will own 52% of the newly formed Thomas Cook Group following the deal, said the share-only deal means cash is available for spending.

“The strategic focus is on strong business and we will also work on the active consolidation of tourism groups across Europe," he said at a press conference this morning. "The board is convinced that tourism as a market is an emerging trend at the moment; we have the money for further mergers and acquisitions.

“We have to have constant investment in new developments and markets, for example online and dynamic packaging sales.”

The merger will give KartstadtQuelle AG a bigger stake in the European market, Thomas Cook operates in Germany and the UK, while MyTravel offers an in-road to Scandinavia as well as further strengthening the position in the UK market.

The Thomas Cook Group will be headquartered in the UK and listed in London and initially Thomas Cook AG chairman and managing director Manny Fontenla-Novoa and MyTravel chief executive Peter McHugh will be its co-chief executives until the end of this year when McHugh will stand down, leaving Fontenla-Novoa solely in charge.

The merged company will combine Thomas Cook AG’s 33 tour operating brands, 2,400 travel agencies, 66 aircraft and almost 20,000 staff with MyTravel’s 17 brands, 31 aircraft and 13,000 staff worldwide.

MyTravel handled 5.5 million holidaymakers in 2005-06 and made a pre-tax profit of £44 million, while Thomas Cook AG is the second largest European travel group after TUI. Thomas Cook UK & Ireland made a profit of more than £87 million in the last financial year.

MyTravel and Thomas Cook believe that the annualised pre-tax cost benefits arising from a combination of the businesses will be at least £75 million a year once the full benefits of the merger are realised.

The deal is subject to clearance by relevant competition authorities and is conditional on the sale of Lufthansa’s 50% holding in Thomas Cook to German department store group KarstadtQuelle. The board of MyTravel will unanimously recommend the merger."


Personally, I think most of the TC brands will survive over MYT names, only because Analysts firmly believe that 50%
of TC's value is the name itself. This will be an important and valuable factor in the new Group's listing on LSE. (TC said recently they were looking to float within 12-18 months.. I guess they knew then what was coming)!!
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ThomasCook
Posts: 676
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RE: MyTravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:16 am

Hi,

This is great news for the UK travel industry where consolidation is much needed! MyTravel and Thomas Cook are now well placed to become the UK's number one and largest tour operator.

Much clarification is needed as to which brands go and which stay however I very much doubt the MyTravel name will disappear. Online, MyTravel in ranked the #3 most visited travel website with a market share of 6% and is also named a 'eSuperBrand'. On the high street; Going Places has a brand awareness rate of over 97%. Airtours is a household name so their is no way it will be going anywhere.

In Northern Europe, MyTravel is an extremely powerful name, a name which has won many awards including 'Best Charter Airline' for the last 8 years and with popular tour operators including Ving and Tjæreborg, I doubt much in the way of change will occur here for some time.

Regardless of what happens, I doubt any major changes will be seen until at least the end of the Summer 2007 season in October.

Regards
ThomasCook
A380 Crew
 
Lite
Posts: 269
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 1:53 am

RE: Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Tue Feb 13, 2007 5:30 am

Thank you for everybody's input concerning the handling agents. We're all looking forward to seeing what direction the merged company will be taking in terms of their new fleet, their basing and whether they will stick with us at Servisair, or will move to other handling agents once the deal is complete.

Obviously we will not see any changes over the summer season this year, with each company operating independently, but by November when the summer 2008 brochures ought to be on sale, I'd expect to already see some shop closures, information about the airline and which brands the new enlarged company is keeping. I'd imagine that Airtours could replace the JMC brand - both sell low-cost, package holidays to the Med - and the Airtours brand is far more established than JMC.
LCC Lover Lite
 
tayaramecanici
Posts: 241
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RE: Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Tue Feb 13, 2007 6:16 am

Quoting LGW (Reply 32):
Monarch are very well placed to compete, in fact I think are better than the merger airline will be with a good combination of manageable charter work and an ever increasing, popular and sucessful scheduled brand.

Most of the MON Schd product operates out of airports with a sizeable TCX/MYT prescence. The MON Schd avoids direct competition with the likes of EZY or Ryan Air i.e LTN. Naturally the combined might of TCX+MYT will be gunning for MON pax to start with out of BHX & MAN. Again on the long haul you have a fleet of 6xA330 + 2xB763 of the merged entity against 2xA330 + 4XA306+1XB763, i don't see any new long haul destinations opening up in the near future to accomodate so many seats bearing in mind the FC & XCL fleet as well. Most of the popular destinations in Asia and Africa are now increasingly being served by schd operators further squeezing the charters.
Another segment of the business that might see competition as far MON are concerned is the Maintenance division. MYT have hangar space at MAN and the possibility of increasing this space thru leasing the additional hangar from SRT. The merged fleet will definately offer a better economy of scale whilst utilising this hangar space. If this does happen it could be a case of MAEL loosing the TCX business and birth of renewed competition following the death of BASCO and previously FLS.

Interesting again !
''You are as good as your nearest competitor'' Bob Crandall.
 
cardiffairtaxi
Posts: 298
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RE: Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Tue Feb 13, 2007 6:43 am

I can see both CWL & BRS becoming year round bases,rather than just winter only.
I ferry MYT crew around Cardiff and Bristol,and the general concensus for a while,is both bases will be year round sooner rather than later.
 
fell90
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 1:30 am

RE: Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Tue Feb 13, 2007 6:51 am

Quoting Lite (Reply 35):
Lite From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2007, 98

Hi lite, nice to have a fellow EMAer on here....have to say tho, i work for Menzies but dont hold that against me, we aren't all bad! haha. on the handling agents note, it was a bit of a rumour that TCX were moving to Servisair but this summer but that hasn't happened! However, its 90% done that Menzies are taking over the EZY operation from yourselves..but that was pretty much nailed on as Menzies own 49% of Easyjet anyway!! Not sure when that happen though!
 
Lite
Posts: 269
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 1:53 am

RE: Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Tue Feb 13, 2007 7:08 am

Very nice to see somebody else from the East Midlands Airport, not only that, but from the handling agent scene. I had heard Thomas Cook was moving back to Servisair at some point, predominantly because we were able to offer a complete package including lounge access and CUSS bag drop facilities, but it looks like you have them for S07, however it'll be interesting to see what things look like next summer. I had heard Menzies were getting the EasyJet contract, especially with EZY moving from Servisair or aviance to Menzies wherever the option exists. Not sure if it's confirmed for S07 though, because the new-hires, as far as I've been told, are being trained up on e-Res, though the orange kiosks are being taken away.
LCC Lover Lite
 
ThomasCook
Posts: 676
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RE: Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Tue Feb 13, 2007 7:16 am

Hi,

Quoting Lite (Reply 35):
but by November when the summer 2008 brochures ought to be on sale

Guess again, S08 goes on sale in around 7 weeks time!

I would imagine quite a few new routes will be made available with the combined fleet of long haul aircraft. There is no reason why the Thomas Cook Group PLC can't keep all of its long haul flyinh in house now and the majority of short to mid haul routes should now have the ability to be operated by group aircraft which I imagine will impact the likes of XLA, MON and AEU etc...

So as not to have route conflict, I imagine that new long haul routes will be launched. Airtours has recently commenced holidays to Malaysia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and China as well as Sardinia and Sarajevo on the short haul front.

The biggest question I have now is what will happen to First Choice who made no secret of wanting out of their package holiday ops and up until last week, where confident to secure their buy out. Virgin pulled out before bids where due last Wednesday which after today, left no serious bidders hence why they have terminated talks. Shares closed 41 points down on Friday's.

Quoted from Travel Weekly:

Travel Weekly columnist and industry accountant Chris Photi, partner of White Hart Associates, said the news had come as a shock in the City, with First Choice shares dropping by 20% after the announcement and MyTravel’s shares jumping by 30%.

He added: “I am gob-smacked. This has been kept very quiet but I think it’s a sensible move. My feeling is we still have one too many players and if I was First Choice I would be a little bit worried today. This will also be another feather in Manny’s (Fontenla-Novoa) cap.”

A further industry observer, agreed the move would have shocked First Choice, adding: “The First Choice board must be scratching their heads this morning as even last week they were quite confident a deal was going through with Thomas Cook. What they’ll do now, I don’t know.”


Regards
ThomasCook
A380 Crew
 
Humberside
Posts: 3223
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2006 12:44 am

RE: Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Tue Feb 13, 2007 7:17 am

Quoting Tayaramecanici (Reply 14):
How does this merger affect the #4 Charter operator MONARCH AIRLINES ? In the war between the charter giants and LCC its the likes of MON that are going to get crushed, i believe.
Looking at the present scenario MON has only 2 options either merge with the likes of excel or sell out.

Or the 3rd option - increase the aomount of scheduled flying

Dont forget though there are many smaller tour operators such as Olympic and Cosmos that will still want to charter aircraft

Quoting FlyingColours (Reply 17):
I'd be more worried about Astraeus, if anyone was going to get crushed it would be AEU because they are so small and take a large proportion of passengers from "Going Places".

AEU have agreements with a lot of the smaller tour operators and proportionaly do very little work for Airtours and Thomass Cook now their LBA base is closed. I think there wil be little impact on them

Quoting Diesel1 (Reply 23):
Quoting FlyingColours (Reply 20):
I'd be intrested in how things play out at BRS, My Travel have been fairly consistent over the past few years and have had some aicraft based there but TCX have pulled out of there and only operated a few w-patterns these days.

Though BRS seems to be in the ascendance for TCX. MYT turned the base into summer only.
TCX have more flights now than the last few years, and there is talk that they will be back with an all year round base. Presuming the merger takes place, then this would seem a definite.

MYT - Summer only base
TCX - Winter only base

Seems to me like a year round base will happen

Quoting Tayaramecanici (Reply 36):
MON Schd avoids direct competition with the likes of EZY or Ryan Air i.e LTN.

They compete with Easyjet ona number of key routes from LTN and LGW including to Palma, Alicante and Malaga

Quoting Tayaramecanici (Reply 36):
Again on the long haul you have a fleet of 6xA330 + 2xB763 of the merged entity against 2xA330 + 4XA306+1XB763, i don't see any new long haul destinations opening up in the near future to accomodate so many seats bearing in mind the FC & XCL fleet as well.

I could see long haul expansion - it is a key growth market for charters. Look at Airtours starting China this year and all of First Choice's new exotic destinations
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fell90
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 1:30 am

RE: Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Tue Feb 13, 2007 7:20 am

i dont think it is confirmed, as we would need loads more men and as far as i know only 18 are being taken on in total! We have TCX this summer, as well as BMi unfortunately and i think there was talk of Air Malta too?

Shud be good with the new departure lounge going up....but we'll still have to coach the arrivals from the 40's. which is a bit daft!
 
Lite
Posts: 269
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 1:53 am

RE: Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Tue Feb 13, 2007 7:35 am

Quoting Fell90 (Reply 42):
i dont think it is confirmed, as we would need loads more men and as far as i know only 18 are being taken on in total! We have TCX this summer, as well as BMi unfortunately and i think there was talk of Air Malta too?

Servisair have the Air Malta contract, we handle them at quite a lot of bases throughout the country, alongside XL Airways, and as far as I'm aware as the flights are predominantly for XL Holidays and assorted independent operators, there was a need for the Airport Agencies package which Servisair offers, providing tour operator representation at the airport. There's no chance of TCX or EZY swapping handling agents for the summer, though I'd imagine W07/08 will provide some interesting handling swapping around the airport. I'm surprised you think bmi charter is a bad handling contract, especially when you consider Air Scandic who bmi replaced.

Quoting ThomasCook (Reply 40):
Guess again, S08 goes on sale in around 7 weeks time!

Thanks for that information. Maybe there will be a small delay to allow for the combined flight schedules to be released, as Thomas Cook can't possibly factor in in seven weeks their flying programme for a merged airline, or is this just similar to the Caledonian/Flying Colours merger. TCX seem to have a success of buying up and seemlessly merging airlines - Flying Colours with Airworld, then Caledonian ...
LCC Lover Lite
 
8herveg
Posts: 1068
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2006 2:01 am

RE: Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Tue Feb 13, 2007 7:42 am

Quoting EI321 (Reply 13):
MY TRAVEL AS
A320 2
A321 5
A332 1
A333 3

What is the AS bit?

Quoting Humberside (Reply 6):
Overall I would expect to see a slightly reduced fleet. AFAIK the only overlap between MyTravel and Thomas Cook is in the UK. At airports like LGW and MAN, the number of based aircraft maybe slightly reduced in order to reduce duplication (e.g. to PMI, TFS etc). Would be nice to think these aircraft wiould be allocated to new regional bases but unfortuantely I doubt it

Why's this? Surely the fleet size at each hub would stay the same? Just because two airlines merge, doesn't mean that the market shrinks surely? The same amount of passengers are going to need to get to their destinations surely?
 
ThomasCook
Posts: 676
Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 12:43 am

RE: Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Tue Feb 13, 2007 7:46 am

Hi,

Quoting Lite (Reply 43):
Thanks for that information. Maybe there will be a small delay to allow for the combined flight schedules to be released, as Thomas Cook can't possibly factor in in seven weeks their flying programme for a merged airline, or is this just similar to the Caledonian/Flying Colours merger. TCX seem to have a success of buying up and seemlessly merging airlines - Flying Colours with Airworld, then Caledonian ...

Summer 2008 preliminary programmes have already finalised and can be tweaked where needed. A lot of flights for S08 when they go on sale in April will have flight times listed as 00:00-00:00 and the airline will be 'TBA'. I very much doubt the launch will be delayed as any delay means lost sales and you generally find the early bookers are those booking high revenue holidays.

Perhaps we could be see a repeat of what happened in Germany and have MyTravel Airways "Powered By Thomas Cook" 

I can't see the MyTravel Airways name going anywhere soon as they are a slick operation with the best on-time-performance, some of the lowest operating cost and are making lots of money!

Quoting 8herveg (Reply 44):
What is the AS bit?

This is MyTravel Airways A/S. The Northern European airline division of MyTravel Group PLC.

Regards
ThomasCook

[Edited 2007-02-12 23:53:08]
A380 Crew
 
Lite
Posts: 269
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 1:53 am

RE: Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Tue Feb 13, 2007 7:49 am

Quoting ThomasCook (Reply 45):
I can't see the MyTravel Airways name going anywhere soon as they are a slick operation with the best on-time-performance, some of the lowest operating cost and are making lots of money!

It doesn't make sense to keep two airlines, with similar fleets and operations, operating under two AOCs, each with their own infrastructure, when they could be merged under one simple brand. I think MyTravel have done a fantastic job in turning around their operation over the last few years, but the brand that people recognise isn't MyTravel (though Airtours and Going Places are well known nationally) it's Thomas Cook, and I see Thomas Cook Airlines becoming the main brand some time over this winter in time for the summer 2008 season. TCX can obviously learn a lot from MYT, and viceversa.
LCC Lover Lite
 
ThomasCook
Posts: 676
Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 12:43 am

RE: Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Tue Feb 13, 2007 8:57 am

Hi,

We have an early indication of what changes will happen to the brands of the combined MyTravel/Thomas Cook Group:

Here's comment from John Bloodworth - the new Head of UK Operations:

Bloodworth indicated that MyTravel's direct-sell arm Direct Holidays would grow following completion of the merger.

"Thomas Cook does not have a direct distribution model which we do. We have to opportunity to spread that across the brands and grow it," he said.

He admitted duplication between some of the 30 plus brands between the two companies, such as youth operations Club 18-30 and Escapades, could lead to consolidation but the main Airtours and Thomas Cook tour operating businesses were complementary.


Regards
ThomasCook
A380 Crew
 
BMIbaby733
Posts: 115
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2005 9:44 am

RE: Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Tue Feb 13, 2007 10:12 am

Ummm, this all sounds rather interesting.

I'm flying with MYT to florida in June, do you think i'll be affected in anyway? be it changing from a MYT A332 to something else or even a change to the whole holiday?
 
ThomasCook
Posts: 676
Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 12:43 am

RE: Mytravel And Thomas Cook To Merge

Tue Feb 13, 2007 10:19 am

Hi,

Quoting BMIbaby733 (Reply 48):
I'm flying with MYT to florida in June, do you think i'll be affected in anyway? be it changing from a MYT A332 to something else or even a change to the whole holiday?

I highly doubt much in the way of change will be noticeable until November at the earliest or even Summer 2008. The merger is set to be complete by June, however, by that point, I imagine the only changes will be a board level. Don't worry about your holiday changing. You will have a great flight on MyTravel’s A330-200 and a superb time in Florida!

Regards
ThomasCook
A380 Crew

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