Sunderland travel firm chiefs John and Irene Hays appear live on Good Morning Britain

John and Irene Hays, owners of Sunderland travel agent Hays Travel, have wowed the public with their appearance on national television after saving hundreds of jobs at the failed Thomas Cook.

Friday, 11th October 2019, 10:26 am
Updated Friday, 11th October 2019, 6:10 pm
Irene and John Hays were a hit with ITV viewers when they appeared on Good Morning Britain. Picture credit: Good Morning Britain.

Earlier this week it was announced that round 2,500 jobs would be saved by Hays’ plan to buy 555 Thomas Cook stores after the collapse of the holiday company.

The couple were guests on the ITV show today and chatted with presenters Susanna Reid and Piers Morgan about the takeover.

They proved popular with social media users around the country.

Gavin Lynch tweeted: “Just watched a bit of gmb. John and Irene Hays from @HaysTravel are such an inspiration saving so many jobs, but so humble, I bet they are a great company to work for #bravo.”

Another Twitter user, Carole, said: “What a truly beautiful couple John and Irene Hays are. I'm not a Thomas Cook employee.

“I don't even work in the travel business, but wanted to say a big thank you for all the joy & relief you have brought to so many of their worried Staff. #NotAllHerosWearCapes.”

John Stokoe tweeted: “What a couple. Good luck John and Irene and @HaysTravel, stepping in to reopen a load of Thomas Cook shops, saving so many jobs. Proper sound, northern folk. You must be very proud @HelenDHays and rightly so.”

It was announced on October 9 that Hays had signed a deal with the Official Receiver and Special Managers from KPMG and already employed more than 25% of the former Thomas Cook retail employees, re-opening the stores with immediate effect.