THOMAS COOK in Dunfermline looks to have been saved from closure thanks to Hays Travel.

The rival company has swooped in to buy all of the travel agent's 555 shops across the UK after their collapse last month.

The Kingsgate Centre store is one of around 60 in Scotland to be taken over.

Hays intended to reopen some branches as early as today, potentially saving up to 2,500 jobs in total.

John Hays, who started the family-run firm 40 years ago, said it was difficult to guarantee whether every shop would avoid shutting as talks will be held with individual landlords over their future.

Mr Hays said: "It is certainly our intention to take on all the staff, to welcome them back.”

He confirmed the Thomas Cook brand would be wiped from the high street as its shops are rebranded with the Hays name.

The 178-year-old Thomas Cook folded on September 23 after failing to secure a last-minute rescue deal.

The news left around 150,000 passengers stranded abroad.

Holidaymakers from Dunfermline and West Fife had to scrap their breaks as a result of Thomas Cook's liquidation.

Lengthy queues were formed outside Barrhead Travel in Duloch on the morning after that news broke as sunseekers tried desperately to book different flights and accommodation.

Prices soared following the UK Civil Aviation Authority's announcement that all Thomas Cook flights and holidays had been cancelled.