The head of Thomas Cook’s Condor operation has apologised after a video showing staff celebrating a rescue loan was widely shared on social media.
Christoph Debus wrote a post on LinkedIn and Twitter to explain the context of the video, filmed in the wake of the wider group’s collapse on Monday that resulted in 21,000 job losses including 9,000 in the UK.
He said the pictures, understood to have been shot by a member of staff, showed “relief” among workers following confirmation that the German government had granted the Condor holiday flights business, a profitable part of Thomas Cook, a £340m loan to help tide it over.
Thomas Cook bosses face investigation into what led to collapse .
The video showed Mr Debus, the group’s chief airline officer, and other members of management smiling while being clapped and cheered into a room.
However, the celebrations were widely criticised by social media users – including Thomas Cook customers and some who said they were former members of staff.
One, called Alina Sullivan, said via her Twitter account: “I did a 16 hour shift Sunday landed to getting told by a pax I no longer had a job.
“So I really dont think your sorry at all. You’ve done what you set out to do let us work for your profits and ran off back to Condor. Enjoy your celebration while i struggle to feed my family.”
Mr Debus said of the backlash: “I never, ever intended to cause offence or appear inconsiderate. I am heartbroken that any of my colleagues feel that I have been, and for that I am truly sorry.”
He added: “The reaction of myself, the Condor management and employees was one of pure relief that Condor could continue to fly and more redundancies within the group airlines were prevented.
“I realise, however, that this video was inappropriately timed and I am sorry.”