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Thomas Cook Belgium seeks bankruptcy protection and sheds 75 jobs

20:16 24/09/2019

The Belgian branch of tour operator Thomas Cook has filed for bankruptcy protection and made 75 out of 600 jobs redundant, management announced on Tuesday.

Chief executive Jan Dekeyser said the firm was in "deep discussions" with its investors and creditors - and pledged that all staff would receive their September wages as normal this week.

The group's 90 travel agencies around the country - most of which carry the Neckerman brand - will continue operating. However, Thomas Cook Belgium will cease to organise tours and packages and the branches will instead sell other tour operators' holidays.

Some 600,000 people around the world are currently on a Thomas Cook holiday - including 10,000 Belgians.

Thomas Cook customers in Belgium whose holidays are cancelled are entitled to a full refund from the Travel Guarantee Fund. The fund does not cover any additional expenses.

"We are hearing some stories from people who have been put under pressure to pay their hotel bills on the spot," said federal consumer affairs minister Wouter Beke. "Do not do so because these additional payments are not covered by the Guarantee Fund."

Brussels Airlines said it would, on Wednesday, repatriate 350 passengers stranded in the Tunisian cities of Enfidha and Djerba, whose flights home were cancelled on Tuesday.

Written by The Bulletin