Posted on January 16, 2014 11:45 AM   |   Permanent Link   

Sean Kenny, the Dublin Bay North Labour TD and member of the Oireachtas Transport Committee has expressed dismay at the
announcement by Thomas Cook, the second largest tour operator in the country, to end its presence on Irish streets, and cancel its summer charter flights from Irish airports.

"I am disappointed at this development. Thomas Cook will be making its Irish staff, which numbers just over 40, unemployed and I understand that it has also entered into a 30-day consultation with colleagues in Dublin, with a view to closing its business support function based in Ireland."

"Thomas Cook have cited that they are moving their business entirely online due to the growing numbers of people who book holidays online, but there are still many people who prefer to meet with a travel agent in person and purchase a holiday in that way."

"A small number of customers who had already booked a summer charter holiday with Thomas Cook will be contacted and offered an alternative package holiday, or a full refund. While it is good that at least they are getting a full refund, surely they should be allowed to continue with their holiday. It would have been preferable if Thomas Cook could have informed customers before taking bookings that it was not in a position to honour.

"I would urge Thomas Cook to reconsider this decision. This comes on the back of the closing of their retail operations in Ireland in 2009, when a significant number of predominantly young female workers were made redundant. TSSA, the union that represents Thomas Cook workers on the high street, warned at the time that this was the beginning of the end for Thomas Cook in Ireland. Sadly, this prediction has now been fulfilled."