Passengers disembark a Boeing 757-300 of Thomas Cook Airlines after landing at Duesseldorf Airport, Germany September 23, 2019 (Photo: Reuters)
In the wake of giant UK travel group Thomas Cook announcing its bankruptcy, a number of tourism experts expect that this will reflect negatively on Egypt’s tourism.
Member of Egyptian Tourism Federation Nagi Erian told Ahram Online that Thomas Cook was the first tourism company in the world to start work in Egypt, and that it is the main company the British people use to travel to Egypt.
“We will take our time in the tourism sector, on the level of the government and companies alike, to consider the impacts of this matter and the potential British companies that will replace Thomas Cook,” Erian added.
Meanwhile, head of the tourism syndicate Basem Halaka told Ahram Online that the exit of Thomas Cook from the map will affect Egypt’s tourism market negatively.
“Thomas Cook was a major organiser of charter flights from the UK to Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada, thus, these two cities will affected. In addition, the UK is among the top three countries whose citizens visit Egypt, alongside Germany and Russia,” Halaka clarified.
In July, Director of International Trade at the British Embassy in Cairo Oliver Richards announced that the British tourism flow to Egypt doubled in 2018, and about 400,000 British tourists visit Egypt annually, while 41 flights head from the UK to Egypt per week.
In a tweet on Sunday night, Thomas Cook announced that the company has ceased operations.
“We are sorry to inform you that all holidays and flights provided by these companies have been cancelled and are no longer operating. All Thomas Cook's retail shops have also closed,” the company said in a statement released by on its website.
The 178-year-old company revealed in the statement that it was forced to shut down after talks on a financial rescue failed.
Two days ago, Thomas Cook was in talks with the British government officials and investors about a last-minute rescue deal to fend off potential bankruptcy due to threats from lenders to pull the plug on a rescue deal that had been months in the making. The company is £1.7 billion in debt.
The company’s chief executive officer Peter Fankhauser said on Monday that Thomas Cook's collapse was a “matter of profound regret,” apologising to the company’s millions of customers and thousands of employees.
Hotels, resorts and airlines used by 19 million travellers a year in 16 countries are managed by Thomas Cook, generating revenue of $12 billion in 2018. The company has 600,000 employees abroad, including more than 150,000 British citizens.