Published on Friday, May 11, 2012
Thomas Cook has agreed to sell and lease back 17 of its aircraft to raise £183 million to strengthen its financial position.
CEO Sam Weihagen said the deal provides "substantial additional liquidity".
Giving a trading update, he added: "As expected, the first half seasonal losses have widened however, summer bookings have improved in recent weeks."
Looking forward, the Group said it expects this year to be challenging given the economic backdrop and difficult trading environment.
"The performance of our North American and French businesses has been particularly poor and is a major contributor to the increased losses in the first half," said a statement.
"Whilst our booking position for the second half is more encouraging trading will be dependant on how well the Group performs during the important lates market."
Summer UK mainstream bookings are down 9%, ahead of capacity reductions of 13%.
The Group has 19% less left to sell compared to prior year.
Average selling price is stable, up 4%, and bookings for independent and specialist businesses are up 11%.
The group's seasonal loss from operations for the six months to end-March grew to £262.7 million from £165.8 million.
Net debt as of March 31 was £1.39 billion.
The company appointed ex-Kwik-Fit finance boss Michael Healy as chief financial officer earlier this week
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The recent insolvency of Low Cost Travel Group, one of the large players in the travel industry had a big impact on the travelers, hotels and all related players from both wholesale & retail arms. There were about 27,000 people on a holiday who had booked through the company comprised of a €200 million wholesale arm and €500 million OTA / retail arm.