The troubled budget tour operator confirmed that the closures would be made over the next two years, ending 1,000 jobs.

This is a setback for the British high street, where over one in ten shops are now empty.

A further 250 jobs will be axed in Thomas Cook’s airline, which was voted Britain’s worst by consumer watchdogs, Which? today.

The company’s chief executive, Sam Weilhagen, said the cuts had to be made to get through a business climate hampered by the economy and North African revolutions.

He insisted Thomas Cook would be successful in the future and said: “We had some cleaning up to do.”

The company has made four profit warnings this year and had to be bailed out by a £200 million lifeline from its banks last month.

But the plan is set to boos profits by £110 million per year after it is finished in three years.

The company has also sold off its Spanish hotel chain, Hotels Y Clubs De Vacaciones, in another bid to wipe off its debt.