Commodities

EasyJet buys Thomas Cook airport slots at Gatwick and Bristol for $46 mln

Credit: REUTERS/BENOIT TESSIER

British budget airline easyJet has bought the take-off and landing slots of failed travel company Thomas Cook at London Gatwick and Bristol airports for 36 million pounds ($46 million), it said on Friday.

Adds detail, background

LONDON, Nov 8 (Reuters) - British budget airline easyJet EZJ.L has bought the take-off and landing slots of failed travel company Thomas Cook at London Gatwick and Bristol airports for 36 million pounds ($46 million), it said on Friday.

Thomas Cook's UK business and airline went into immediate insolvency when the company collapsed in September, and a court appointed an official receiver to liquidate its assets.

EasyJet acquired 12 of summer slot pairs and 8 winter slot pairs at Gatwick, plus six summer slot pairs and one winter slot pair at Bristol, in the deal. The airline added that contractual terms had been concluded.

The acquisition by easyJet marks the first sale in relation to Thomas Cook's airports slot portfolio. London Gatwick was one of Thomas Cook's main bases, along with Manchester airport.

Last month Hays Travel bought Thomas Cook's network of British travel agent shops, while China's Fosun, which had been the largest shareholder of the group, bought the Thomas Cook brand last week.

The collapse of Thomas Cook, the world's oldest travel company stranded tens of thousands of passengers as its UK business immediately stopped trading.

Its Nordic business was rescued last month, while its German airline Condor is still operating.

($1 = 0.7805 pounds)

(Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Jan Harvey and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

((alistair.smout@thomsonreuters.com; +44 207 542 7064; Reuters Messaging: alistair.smout.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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