Milestones 2015 

14 January 2015

This exit from the tour operating business includes Kuoni Switzerland, UK, Benelux, Hong Kong/China and India as well as operations in Scandinavia/Finland. This affects approximately 3,800 people in total.

Following a strategic review, Kuoniʼs Board of Directors and Group Executive Board have decided to focus the companyʼs activities on its core business as a service provider to the global travel industry and to governments. In its new set-up, Kuoni Group will be structured into three divisions, Global Travel Distribution (GTD), Global Travel Services (GTS) and VFS Global.

Kuoni Groupʼs new strategic direction will transform the company into a unique, clearly positioned player in the global travel industry.

Heinz Karrer, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Kuoni Group

Kuoni Groupʼs Board of Directors appointed Ivan Walter as new member of the Executive Board. He will lead the Global Travel Distribution (GTD) Division. Ivan Walter has been with the Kuoni Group since 2001.

Ivan Walter

22 June 2015

REWE Group is acquiring all of the approximately 2,350 (FTE) employees at the existing locations and will continue to run the business activities, including all the travel agencies, as part of its DER Touristik travel division.

Kuoni Group has signed an agreement with DER Touristik for it to acquire all the tour operators, specialists, travel agencies and online sales in the Switzerland, UK, Scandinavia/Finland and Benelux markets, as well as the airline Novair and the Playitas family and sports resort on Fuerteventura.

7 August 2015

Kuoni Group has signed an agreement with Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd through its travel provider Thomas Cook India to sell Kuoniʼs Indian travel activities and the tour operator Kuoni Hong Kong. The Indian travel activities encompass outbound tour operating, business travel, travel agencies, and inbound business (Destination Management India).

11 September 2015

The sale of European tour operating activities to REWE Group was completed on 11 September 2015 after the responsible European competition authorities gave their unconditional approval to the transaction earlier. REWE Group, and its tourism division DER Touristik, is taking over Kuoni Groupʼs tour operating activities in Switzerland, UK, Scandinavia/Finland and Benelux as well as the airline Novair and the Playitas family and sports resort on Fuerteventura. It is taking on the employees and locations, and continuing the business activities.

5 November 2015

Zubin Karkaria (left)
Prisca Havranek-
Kosicek (right)

Zubin Karkaria founded VFS Global in 2001 and built up the company very successfully to become the global leader in visa services for governments. VFS Global Division is the fastest growing, most innovative and most profitable division in the Kuoni Group.

The Board of Directors has appointed Zubin Karkaria as the new CEO of the Kuoni Group with immediate effect. He replaces the outgoing CEO Peter Meier and concurrently continues to run the VFS Global Division. 

The Board of Directors has appointed Dr Prisca Havranek-Kosicek as the Kuoni Groupʼs new CFO, succeeding previous CFO Thomas Peyer. Prisca Havranek-Kosicek, an Austrian citizen, has many yearsʼ experience of senior operational and consultancy roles in finance, controlling, strategy development and restructurings.

Kuoni Group has entered a partnership with HNA Group of China. HNA Group is one of the leading private companies of Chinese origin, and is globally active in a number of businesses including tourism and aviation. The goal of the partnership is to jointly develop the outbound travel business in China and to partner in related strategic matters.

Kuoni Group has been transformed from a broadly based travel company pursuing a wide range of very different activities into a focussed global service provider for the professional travel industry and governments.

Heinz Karrer, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Kuoni Group

9 November 2015

The sale of tour operating activities in Hong Kong to Fairfax/Thomas Cook India was completed on 9 November 2015 after the responsible authorities gave their unconditional approval to the transaction earlier. Canadian group Fairfax, with its travel services provider Thomas Cook India, is taking over Kuoni Groupʼs traditional tour operating activities in Hong Kong. It is taking on the employees and locations, and continues the business activities.

15 December 2015

On 15 December 2015 Kuoni Group sold its “Neue Hard” property in Zurich to Zürcher Kantonalbank. The sale price is CHF 75 million, which matches the estimated market value.

16 December 2015

The sale of travel activities in India to Fairfax/Thomas Cook India was completed on 16 December 2015 after the responsible authorities gave their unconditional approval to the transaction. Canadian group Fairfax, with its travel services provider Thomas Cook India, is taking over Kuoni Groupʼs traditional tour operating activities and inbound business (Destination Management India) in India. It is taking on the employees and locations and continues the business activities.