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Thomas Cook bankruptcy: How it is impacting Danish travel customers

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Thomas Cook bankruptcy: How it is impacting Danish travel customers
Photo: Martin Sylvest/Ritzau Scanpix
11:24 CEST+02:00
Customers with travel companies operating in Denmark may be affected by the insolvency of British company Thomas Cook.

Danish travel firm Spies is owned by Thomas Cook, while other companies have some services placed with Spies or the British company.

Thomas Cook ceased trading after talks failed to produce funding for the struggling travel company, resulting in cancellation of all the company’s flights and bookings.

Spies also cancelled all of its scheduled travel services on Monday. As such, Spies services from Copenhagen to Madeira and from Billund to Cyprus will not operate today, DR reports.

Exact consequences for Spies customers in the coming days are unclear at the current time.

“A lot of things must fall into place before I can say with certainty what the consequences will be. But those travelling on Thomas Cook Scandinavia Airlines departures must unfortunately expect that they will not travel this morning. They will be contacted by their travel companies with information about what will happen instead,” Spies head of communications Lisbeth Nedergaard told DR.

“Those who are on Spies holidays right now must wait for information about what will happen. But all package holidays sold through Spies are covered by (Denmark’s) travel guarantee fund [Rejsegarantifonden, ed.] which means they will all be provided with travel home,” Nedergaard said.

Up to 1,400 Spies customers have been affected by the Thomas Cook collapse on Monday alone, the company said.

“Those who are on holiday will come home and those whose departures have been cancelled will be offered an alternative or another solution, for example compensation,” Nedergaard told DR.

Two other major travel companies on the Danish market – Tui and Apollo – have a limited number of passengers affected by the insolvency.

Those companies have some seats on some Spies or Thomas Cook services due to the practice of companies buying seats from each other.

Tui Denmark’s press manager Mikkel Hansen told DR that at least 400 customers travelling to Tenerife in September or October would have to be rebooked to other flights, and that other changes would also be necessary for bookings made for the winter months.

“Affected customers will be notified,” Hansen said.

Apollo’s head of communications Glenn Bisgaard said that around 100 customers would be affected on flights to Gran Canaria or Madeira, although the company did “not yet have a precise figure”.

Apollo is currently working on alternatives for affected customers, who will be contacted by the company once a solution has been found, DR reports.

Rival company Bravo Tours, which does not have passengers affected by the Thomas Cook bankruptcy, said it will try to assist Spies customers whose holidays or return journeys have been cancelled.

“We will try to bring home guests when we have free spaces and will also add to planned services so we can get people to their holiday destinations,” Bravo Tours spokesperson Stig Elling said to Ritzau.

Bravo Tours was unable to say how many Spies passengers it would be able to assist, however.

“It will be minimal in relation to how many guests there are. We will try to find extra capacity,” Elling said.

“This is the biggest collapse I can recall in Danish travel history. It’s sad, and they didn’t deserve this in Scandinavia,” he added.

The Spies travel company was founded in the 1950s and is a well-recognized company and brand amongst Danish holidaymakers.

The company provided 24.3 percent of all Danish charter holidays in 2018, DR reports based on figures from rejsearrangorer.dk.

 
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