Thomas Cook collapse means headaches for Transat as partnership deal dies

MONTREAL — Tour operator Transat Inc. says it could face fallout from the collapse of Thomas Cook Group Plc after a partnership between the companies died today.

Transat, which operates Air Transat, was in the second year of a seven-year deal to exchange aircraft with the British airline on a seasonal basis.

Transat spokesman Christophe Hennebelle says the Montreal-based company was slated to receive at least seven jetliners from Thomas Cook this fall, but that the partnership is dead since the British company no longer exists following a declaration of bankruptcy Monday.

Nonetheless, Hennebelle says Transat, which is working to complete its takeover by Air Canada next year, is still “confident” it will receive the Airbus A321 planes.

About 600,000 travellers were stranded across the world Monday after Thomas Cook collapsed, immediately halting almost all its flights and hotel services and laying off all its employees as the company ceased trading.

The collapse of the 178-year-old airline and tour operator, which helped create the package tour industry, will have sweeping effects across the entire European and North African tourism industry and elsewhere, as hotels worried about being paid and confirmed bookings for high-season winter resorts were suddenly in doubt.

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