by AFP/ pic by AFP
BELGIUM – A Belgian commercial court in Ghent on Tuesday declared the local travel agency business of British tour operator Thomas Cook bankrupt, putting 500 jobs at risk.
Thomas Cook Retail Belgium is the group’s largest Belgian subsidiary and the fourth and final one to collapse in the wake of the parent company’s failure.
The 178-year-old core group was plagued by debt and declared bankruptcy last week after a lengthy period of financial turmoil, leaving 22,000 staff jobless.
The firm’s main Belgian subsidiary ran 91 high street travel agents under the Thomas Cook and Neckermann brands, employing 501 staff.
Three smaller Belgian units, which went under last week, employed a further 75 people.
The retail wing had wanted to keep going, but the court heard that it had failed to find the five million euros ($5.5 million) needed to continue under judicial administration.
Meeting worker’s representatives, management revealed on Monday that “discussions with various parties have not allowed us to come to an agreement.”