Thomas Cook is close to striking a £1.2bn refinancing deal that will give the troubled travel group two more years' breathing space to turn round its business.
A consortium of 17 banks including Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays is expected to approve an extension of loans until 2015. Although the conditions are likely to be stringent, with higher interest rates and the lenders taking a significant stake in the company, the deal is regarded as good news by Thomas Cook.
Without the backing of the banks, it would have had to repay the bulk of its debt by April 2013.
Britain's oldest and best-known tour operator appeared to be on the brink of collapse before Christmas after a disastrous year that featured three profit warnings and the departure of its long-serving chief executive. Despite £100m of short-term funding having been secured in autumn 2011, an emergency loan of £200m was needed by late November to keep the firm afloat. Bookings slumped in subsequent months as reports of its financial woes deterred customers.
Luckily the green shoots of recovery are here and we'll all be holidaying like mad in a few months...