The Thomas Cook Group has enough money and enough protection from IATA and ATOL in the worst case scenario, to get through the summer. That was the message from analysts yesterday.
It seems they’re not willing to bet the house on if it will survive the winter. The group is in desperate need to restructure its massive debts and operate its holiday business without the airline that bears it name and that of Condor in Germany.
So desperate are Thomas Cook – and everyone knows it, that Lufthansa, who have said they will bid for the Condor arm and the UK Thomas Cook part of the airline if the price is right, are unlikely to be presenting a top dollar offer. Especially when they’re the only ones offering to buy the lot.
Virgin Atlantic have made a bid for an element of the UK airline – almost certainly the long haul A330 fleet which would be ideal for their operating profile.
The Lufthansa offer is non-binding and subject to intense negotiations, but they know Thomas Cook is so desperate to rid itself of the burden of its airline, they’re not going to be overly generous.
Thomas Cook are in the position of needing the maximum they can get while being in such a weak position they might almost have to take what they’re being offered.
They stand a better chance selling the long haul fleet, but only three of the A330’s are owned by the airline, three are leased and a fourth leased aircraft is stored. Of greater note are that the owned aircraft are the oldest by a considerable margin averaging about 20 years. The three newest are all leased and average around 10.5 years.