June 3, 2019 / 12:43 PM / 14 days ago

Portugal's Hi Fly bids for Thomas Cook's airline business: source

FILE PHOTO: A Thomas Cook Airbus A321-200 airplane takes off at the airport in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, July 28, 2018. REUTERS/Paul Hanna/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Portuguese private airline Hi Fly has bid for Thomas Cook’s airline business, a source familiar with the matter said on Monday, as the tour operator seeks to raise cash following its third profit warning in less than a year.

Thomas Cook put its airline up for sale in February, and Lufthansa, Virgin Atlantic and Indigo Partners are among the firms that have bid for part or all of the airline business.

Private equity group Triton Partners has bid for the firm’s Nordic operations.

The world’s oldest tour operator, Thomas Cook issued a profit warning last month, sending its shares to their lowest since November 2011 and its 2022 euro-denominated bonds to record lows.

Thomas Cook said last month it had agreed a 300 million pound ($379 million) bank facility to provide more liquidity for the 2019/20 winter season to give it more breathing room.

The approach by Hi Fly for Thomas Cook’s airline unit was first reported by the Mail on Sunday. Hi Fly was not available for immediate comment.

Lisbon-based Hi Fly specializes in wet leases and charter services, according to its website.

Reporting by Alistair Smout; additional reporting by Catarina Demony in Lisbon

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