Thomas Cook is planning the closure of 50 stores

If the plan was to go ahead, the travel operator would close the Thomas Cook and Cooperative Travel branded stores by March 2018.

The move comes in the wake of a fall in footfall leading to a decline in profits at the travel agency. 400 people are said to be affected but the company will rehouse many of them.

Saying this, online sales are on the increase.

Stores generated 47% of Thomas Cook’s holiday bookings in 2017, but online sales have grown 27% in the UK.

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Advance tickets to be sold on day of travel on UK trains

Train operators have agreed a deal whereby advance tickets can be sold on the day of travel to British railway users, in some cases up to ten minutes before departure.

The announcement was made by the Rail Delivery Group, which brings together Network Rail and the railway operators.

“Not everyone can plan journeys in advance and now more people can buy cheaper tickets on the day, even on their way to the station,” explained Jacqueline Starr, Managing Director of Customer Experience at the RDG.

“We want customers to get the best possible deal whenever they travel. With 97 per cent of your fare going back into running and improving the railway, investment is driving quicker improvement, more choice and greater freedom.”

The initiative was first made by CrossCountry in 2015, with over a million advance ticket journeys undertaken since then. The popularity of advance tickets, typically only available until midnight before the day of travel, has quadrupled in the past decade according to the RDG.


Thomas Cook sticks to annual guidance after strong demand for summer holidays

Strong demand for summer holidays to destinations other than Turkey helped offset pressure on the travel group

LONDON, Sept 27 (Reuters) – British travel company Thomas Cook stuck to its annual profit guidance on Tuesday, after strong demand for summer holidays to destinations other than Turkey helped offset pressure on the group.

Thomas Cook was forced to lower its guidance in July after the failed coup in Turkey, formerly the company’s fourth most important market, prompted holidaymakers to change their plans. Customers changing their plans to travel to Spanish destinations rather than Turkey had forced Thomas Cook to lower its profit guidance range by 3-10 percent in July, adding to difficulties after the group warned about delayed bookings in March on worries over security.

For the twelve months ended Sept. 30, Thomas Cook is expecting to post operating profit of 300 million pounds ($389.4 million), an outlook it reconfirmed on Tuesday, with bookings excluding Turkey up 8 percent this summer.

Including Turkey, group bookings for the summer, when Thomas Cook makes all its profit, were down 4 percent, with customers opting for holidays in the Balearic and Canary Islands and the United States.

Summer bookings from the UK were higher than last year despite concerns that the devaluation of the pound after the Brexit vote in June would lower British appetite to travel abroad.

Bookings for this winter were broadly in line with last year, Thomas Cook added.

($1 = 0.7704 pounds)

(Reporting by Sarah Young; editing by Kate Holton)

Copyright(c) Thomson Reuters 2016.