By Howard Mustoe
By Howard Mustoe
By Simon Browning
A year after the collapse of travel firm Thomas Cook, we see how two of their former flight attendants have rebuilt their lives.
By Justin Harper
Business reporter, BBC News
BBC News Online
Travel firm Thomas Cook has relaunched today as a travel website - almost a year after the company's collapse.
Thomas Cook founded his travel company in Leicestershire and ran his first excursion from Leicester to Loughborough in 1841.
The company collapsed last September under £1.7bn of debt, and more than 150,000 stranded holidaymakers had to be brought home.
The reinvented firm will be online only without aircraft, hotels or shops.
Fosun Tourism Group, a Chinese firm, paid £11m for the Thomas Cook trademarks, websites and social media accounts.
Former flight attendant Grace Fletcher said she and her former colleagues have watched the relaunch of Thomas Cook with great interest and were sad to learn there would be no planes and flight staff.
After the collapse, the company had a huge collection of thousands of items including early advertising posters, board games, staff uniforms and 60,000 photographs.
This entire archive - described as "internationally significant" - has been given to the Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland.
By Nell Mackenzie & Simon Browning
By Amy Woodfield
BBC News, Leicester
What does it mean when firms declare themselves insolvent?
BBC Radio 5 Live
Hays Travel, the Sunderland-based firm that bought the collapsed Thomas Cook, has told 5 live a recruitment freeze is likely to be put in place after a dip in bookings following the outbreak of coronavirus.
Co-owner and managing director John Hays said the move would be "temporary" but added: "It's very important that we match the volume of income against costs, that's what we do."
"We've been a resilient industry and company, so we know we need to be realistic, so various options are under consideration."
In November, the firm said it would hire an extra 1,500 staff including 200 for at its head office in Sunderland, 500 to handle foreign exchange and an apprentice for each of its 737 branches.
Mr Hays' wife, co-owner Irene, said: "The business was developing incredibly well until February 22nd and now the position is a little more mixed. We're still enthusiastic, we will look at the business on a day-to-day basis.
"We're very fortunate to have the Thomas Cook acquisition and some very experienced travel consultants who know what they're doing in these circumstances."
When Thomas Cook collapsed, thousands of employees suddenly found themselves without a job - but 30 of them have been fast-tracked for new jobs on trains after Great Western Railway (GWR) made a plea for cabin crew and ground staff to get in touch.
Sian Pike, who had been with Thomas Cook for 26 years and was an airline cabin manager, is one of them.
"My life had been flying, and suddenly it was ripped away from me, leaving me feeling really numb," said Ms Pike.
"I used to tell passengers I'd be flying until they kicked me out.
"My uniform is still in my wardrobe, my bags are under the stairs.
"It was a way of life. I was literally going to be there with my Zimmer frame going down the aisle."
Not many companies that have gone bust in recent times have left behind an archive described as "internationally significant".
But the measure of how much collapsed travel firm Thomas Cook meant to Brits is that the firm's collection of posters, games, guides and staff uniforms is to be catalogued and made available to the public at Leicestershire county's record office.
It was awarded the role of housing the collection - made up of thousands of individual items including early advertising posters, board games and 60,000 photographs - following a bidding process.
Robin Jenkins, senior archivist at Leicestershire County Council, said: "This is an internationally significant archive relating to a company which began in Leicester.
"They were very careful in what they collected and kept as a representative of the work of the company."