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Up to 2,500 jobs could be saved in UK as Thomas Cook shops bought by rival

It is thought that up to 2,500 UK jobs could be saved as all 555 Thomas Cook stores are set to be bought by Hays Travel.

Hays Travel is a rival firm in the market and currently has 190 shops around the UK. It has so far recruited 421 former Thomas Cook staff and the independent travel agent is set to buy the collapsed firm's stores from the Official Receiver.

Thomas Cook collapsed last month, triggering Britain's biggest ever peacetime repatriation operation. At the time of the collapse, there were around 22,000 staff at the travel group, about 9,000 of which were in the UK. 

Irene Hays, chair of Sunderland-based Hays, said;

"Thomas Cook was a much-loved brand and a pillar of the UK and the global travel industry. 

"We will build on the good things Thomas Cook had - not least its people - and that will put us in even better stead for the future."

The move represents a significant expansion for Hays, who hope to reopen Thomas Cook shops with immediate effect.

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