Founder of Hays Travel dies aged 71 after collapsing

The founder of Hays Travel has died aged 71. 

John Hays ran the travel firm with wife Irene, 66. He collapsed yesterday while working at the head office in Sunderland. 

Independent: John Hays founded the business in 1980 and ran the travel firm with wife Irene

Independent: John Hays founded the business in 1980 and ran the travel firm with wife Irene

Independent: John Hays founded the business in 1980 and ran the travel firm with wife Irene

He founded the business in 1980 and had built it up into the UK’s biggest independent travel agent. 

Hays and his wife won praise when they prevented thousands of former Thomas Cook staff from losing their jobs by purchasing all 555 of the collapsed tour operator’s UK shops in October 2019. 

But like its rivals, the firm has come under immense pressure during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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