Thomsonfly and First Choice Airways have announced they are to operate under one name, Thomson Airways from 1 May 2009. The rebranding follows the merger of the tourism division of TUI AG and First Choice Holidays PLC in September 2007 when both airlines became part of TUI Travel UK and Ireland. The merger creates the UK’s third largest airline.
Although the airline will fly under one brand, the company plans to continue to operate both the Thomson and First Choice brands on the high street and overseas. Changes will be phased in gradually with the re-branding work on the fleet expected to be completed over the next two years.
Thomsonfly and First Choice Airways have successfully been operating under one Civil Aviation Authority Air Operator’s Certificate since 1 May 2008. Pilots from both airlines are now flying together and more integration work will continue over the coming months.
Chris Browne, managing director of the newly formed Thomson Airways today commented, “This is a major milestone in the history of the airline. Our aim is to build on the very best from these two award-winning airlines that share a very strong drive to provide a truly exceptional customer experience. By incorporating both airlines under one name, we will now operate 65 planes to over 80 destinations from 21 airports in the UK.”
Thomson Airways will become the first European airline to operate the Boeing 787 Dreamliner when it takes delivery of this state-of-the-art aircraft in 2010. The new aircraft will enable the airline to operate more flights to long haul destinations from regional airports. These new Dreamliner aircraft have been hailed as the future of long haul travel and are able to reach long haul destinations directly, quickly and economically as well as being more environmentally friendly than current aircraft.