September 25, 2019 / 8:14 AM / 8 months ago

Flights disrupted at Thomas Cook's Nordic arm as it battles to survive

COPENHAGEN/HELSINKI (Reuters) - Several flights operated by Thomas Cook’s Nordic business have been canceled or delayed as the subsidiary battles to survive the collapse of its parent company earlier this week.

FILE PHOTO: The Thomas Cook logo is seen at their German headquarters in Oberursel, near Frankfurt, Germany September 23, 2019. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/File Photo

Three planes operated by Thomas Cook Scandinavian Airlines have not been able to take off because their leasing contracts remained with the British parent, Danish subsidiary Spies said.

“When you remove a subsidiary from its parent company as brutally as it happened Sunday night, there will be some loose ends afterwards,” said Spies spokeswoman Lisbeth Nedergaard.

“Right now, one loose end is the leasing contracts of some of our planes. Some were leased through our parent company and subleased to us, others were the opposite.”

Nedergaard said the three aircraft without licenses were based in Helsinki in Finland, Vaxjo in Sweden and Trondheim in Norway. Dialogue over leasing contracts was ongoing, she added.

Among the disruptions, a flight from Palma de Mallorca to Helsinki was canceled on Tuesday, according to Finnish airport operator Finavia, while a flight from Helsinki to Palma de Mallorca due to leave at 1740 local time eventually flew at 2347. A flight from Finland to Croatia was also canceled early on Wednesday, just before boarding was about to begin.

In Norway, an overnight Trondheim-Antalya flight was canceled, though a Trondheim-Rhodes flight was scheduled to leave on Wednesday, with an 80 minute delay.

Thomas Cook’s Nordic business said on Monday it would continue to operate as it is a separate legal entity from its parent, and it was looking for new owners.

Meanwhile, Thomas Cook’s German tour business filed for insolvency on Wednesday in a move aimed at separating its brands and operations from its failed parent, and said it was in talks with potential new investors.

On Tuesday, the German government said it would guarantee a 380 million euro ($419 million) bridging loan Thomas Cook’s German airline, Condor.

The Nordic business consists of two legal entities, Thomas Cook Northern Europe and Thomas Cook Scandinavian Airlines, and is also known as Ving Group. The business operates under several brands: Ving in Norway, Spies in Denmark, Tjareborg in Finland, as well as Ving and Globetrotter in Sweden.

Tjareborg said in a statement that “operations continue normally from Tuesday September 24 onwards. Business as usual”.

Hundreds of thousands of holidaymakers were stranded by the collapse of London-based Thomas Cook, the world’s oldest travel firm.

Close to 35,000 holidaymakers from the Nordics were traveling with the company at the time of the announcement.

Additional reporting by Tommy Lund in Gdansk; Writing by Gwladys Fouche in Oslo; Editing by Mark Potter

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