Thomas Cook Belgium requests protection from its creditors

Thomas Cook Belgium is going to ask a judge at the Commercial Court for protection against its creditors. VRT News learned of the move after extraordinary meeting of the company’s Work’s Council in Ghent (East Flanders) on Tuesday afternoon.      

It look as though Thomas Cook Belgium will escape bankruptcy. At a meeting of the travel firm’s Works’ Council on Tuesday afternoon it was announced that there are sufficient funds to pay the company’s employees their wages for September. The management of Thomas Cook Belgium has been successful in freeing a number of accounts that had been blocked as a result of the bankruptcy of Thomas Cook Belgium’s mother company in the UK.   

This means that time has been won. The activities of two companies that form part of Thomas Cook Belgium will be ceased. These are Thomas Cook Touroperators and Thomas Cook Retail. Meanwhile, Thomas Cook Retail Belgium will go into receivership. This will offer it protection from its creditors while a solution is found. The company’s 85 travel agencies in high streets and shopping malls across the country will continue to operate for the time being at least. 510 of the 600 people currently employed by Thomas Cook Belgium will be able to carry on working.      

Within the next four or five days management will draw up a plan containing proposals that it will put before the Commercial Court. The judge will then have to find candidates that wish to take over all or at least part of the company. Continuity is important is the value of the company is to be maintained.    

What this all means for those that have booked holidays with Thomas Cook Belgium or those that are on foreign holidays booked with the tour operator remains to be seen.