Hays Travel founder John Hays dies suddenly 'doing the job he loved' at Sunderland office

The founder of Sunderland-based Hays Travel, John Hays, has died ‘while doing the job he loves’, a company statement has confirmed.

Saturday, 14th November 2020, 5:26 pm

Businessman John Hays has died aged 71, on Friday, November 13, after collapsing at work.

The well-respected and much-loved businessman who co-owned the travel company with wife Irene, and built Hays Travel into the UK’s largest independent travel agent.

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John and Irene Hays outside the firm's Keel Square offices. John Hays sadly died on November 13 at work.

A statement from Hays Travel said: “It is with the deepest sadness and regret that we have to announce that John Hays, the founder and Managing Director of Hays Travel died today, while doing the job he loved.

“John, who with his wife and co-owner Irene Hays bought the Thomas Cook retail estate a year ago, was at work in the company's Sunderland Head Office when he collapsed.

“John built Hays Travel into the UK's largest independent travel agent providing jobs and careers for thousands of young people over 40 years.

“Throughout this past difficult year he did everything in his power to save jobs and protect the travel industry.

“He was held in immense respect by his staff, colleagues, family and friends and was recognised throughout his life for his many achievements.

"He was equally proud of his loyal staff who, under the direction of the board and senior management team, will ensure that the business continues toserve the customers of the UK's largest independent travel agent as he would have wanted.”

Anyone who wishes to make a donation to the Hays Travel Foundation in John’s memory can click here to do so.

Read more tributes to John Hays:

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