Thomas Cook Airlines

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Thomas Cook Airlines
Thomas Cook Airlines Logo.png
Founded 30 March 2008
AOC # 549
Operating bases
Fleet size 32
Destinations 95[1]
Company slogan Let's Go!
Parent company Thomas Cook Group
Headquarters Manchester, England
Key people Christoph Debus (MD)
Cor Vrieswijk (Head of Operations)

Thomas Cook Airlines (UK) Limited, is a British charter airline based in Manchester, England. It serves main holiday resorts worldwide, from its main bases at Manchester and London Gatwick Airport. It also operates services from eight other bases around the United Kingdom; Belfast International Airport, Birmingham Airport, Bristol Airport, Cardiff International Airport, East Midlands Airport, Glasgow International Airport, London Stansted Airport and Newcastle Airport.

Thomas Cook Airlines is part of the airline division of the Thomas Cook Group, which consists of several sister airlines, all of which have a joint fleet management: Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium, Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia and German based Condor.

Carrying more than 6.7 million passengers, to around 60 destinations in Europe, Asia, Africa and America from over 20 regional and national airports throughout the UK, Thomas Cook Airlines is one of Britain’s favourite airlines.

Thomas Cook Airlines Limited holds a United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority Type A Operating Licence, permitting it to carry passengers, cargo and mail on aircraft with 20 or more seats.[2]


Conception and birth[edit]


In the aftermath of the First World War, Thomas Cook & Son is the first travel agent to advertise public trips by aeroplane (Easter 1919). The firm becomes a passenger agent for the principal air companies and is soon selling tickets (costing 30 guineas – equivalent to over £1000 today) for return flights from London to Paris or Brussels.


Thomas Cook & Son organise the world’s first personally-conducted tour by aeroplane. A group of six people (four passengers, a Thomas Cook representative and a pilot) fly from New York to Chicago for the Tunney-Dempsey world heavyweight boxing contest. The price of the package – comprising return flights with inflight meal, first-class accommodation in Chicago and a ringside seat for the fight – is $575.00 (equivalent to over £6000 today).


Holidays by air on specially chartered aircraft to the French Riviera are included in Thomas Cook’s summer brochure for the first time.


Thomas Cook acquires its first airline, Airworld, when it purchases UK tour operator Sunworld.


The Flying Colours Leisure Group is acquired by Airworld parent Sunworld (itself a subsidiary of Thomas Cook) in June 1998. The two airlines (Flying Colours and Airworld) merge at the end of the 1998 summer season under the Flying Colours name.


JMC Airlines is launched on 1st September 1999 through the merger of Flying Colours and Caledonian Airways (the latter airline having been acquired by Thomas Cook when it took control of Carlson Leisure Group’s UK interests earlier in the year).

Creation of Thomas Cook Airlines[edit]

A Thomas Cook aircraft at Manchester International Airport in it's former livery

The original Thomas Cook Airlines was established on 1 September 1999 and started operations on 27 March 2000. It was created as JMC Airlines through the merger of Flying Colours and Caledonian Airways, following the integration of the Carlson Leisure group with Thomas Cook & Son, which brought both airlines under common ownership in October 1999. Previously in 1998. Flying Colours was also integrated by Airworld Aviation Ltd into the airline. JMC Airlines was renamed as Thomas Cook Airlines UK on 31 March 2003.[3]

Following the merger between Thomas Cook AG and MyTravel Group PLC to form Thomas Cook Group plc in June 2007, Thomas Cook Airlines was formed on 30 March 2008 by the merger of Thomas Cook Airlines UK Ltd and MyTravel Airways. The airline commenced operations in time for the summer 2008 season, with a fleet of Airbus A320, A321 and A330 aircraft along with Boeing 757 and 767 aircraft.

Merger with other Thomas Cook Group Airlines[edit]

In 2013, Thomas Cook Airlines, Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium and Condor merged into a single operating segment of the Thomas Cook Group.[4]

Corporate Affairs[edit]


Manchester Airport:

Thomas Cook Airlines, Hanger 1, Western Maintenance Area, Runger Lane, Manchester Airport, Manchester, M90 5FL


The Thomas Cook Group UK & Ireland, Thomas Cook Business Park, Coningsby Road, Bretton, Peterborough, PE3 8SB


Thomas Cook Group Plc, 3rd Floor, South Building, 200 Aldersgate, London, EC1A 4HD

Logo's & Slogan's[edit]

In 2001, following the acquisition of Thomas Cook by Condor & Neckermann, a new logo was introduced, combining the Thomas Cook name with the blue and yellow (representing sea and sun) “holiday” colours of C&N. The company slogan of this time was "Don't Just Book It, Thomas Cook It".

In October 2013, the Thomas Cook Group of companies unites for the first time in its history under one identifier (the ‘Sunny Heart’) and celebrates the launch of new, differentiated products and innovative online tools. The company slogan for this logo is "Let's Go !"


The airline operates worldwide charter flights from the United Kingdom for a number of tour operators; however, Thomas Cook Tour Operations is the main user of the airline.

The airline also provides direct customer bookings on a seat only basis, through their own website at

Thomas Cook Airlines operates flights to the following destinations:

Africa, Caribbean, North America, Asia and Europe


As of March 2015, the Thomas Cook Airlines fleet consists of the following aircraft:

Aircraft In Service Orders Options Passengers Notes
J W Y Total
Airbus A321-200 15 7 0 0 0 220 220 Economy Class Configuration in a 3-3 configuration
Airbus A330-200 4 2 0 0 49 273 322 Premium (2-3-2 Configuration) Economy (2-4-2 Configuration)
Boeing 757-200 7 0 0 0 0 235 235 Economy Class Configuration in a 3-3 configuration
Boeing 757-300 2 0 0 0 0 280 280 Economy Class Configuration in a 3-3 configuration
Boeing 767-300ER 3 0 0 0 0 326 326 Economy Class Configuration in a 2-4-2 configuration
Total 31 9 0


Airbus A321 in current "Sunny Heart" livery

When Thomas Cook Airlines was created on 31st March 2003, it created it's first livery and adopted the Thomas Cook 'Globe' as part of it's scheme.

When Thomas Cook Airlines merged with My Travel Airways, both airlines adopted the Thomas Cook 'Globe' livery.

On 1st October 2013 the Thomas Cook Group introduced a new brand symbol, known as the "Sunny Heart".

The famous Thomas Cook Globe symbol was replaced on all it's aircraft with the new 'Sunny Heart' logo.

All new aircraft will be delivered wearing the new full Sunny Heart livery.

The current fleet are due to receive a new white, yellow and grey livery, featuring the new Sunny Heart symbol on the tail fins.

On-Board Service[edit]

Short Haul

Drinks and snacks can be purchased on board from the Café Cloud menu. In-flight meals, champagne and a selection of gifts can be pre-ordered at the time of booking a flight. Since May 2012, the in-flight meals available on board Thomas Cook flights are designed exclusively by celebrity chef James Martin. Passengers who have not pre-ordered a meal can buy a selection of meals from the cabin crew.

In-flight Entertainment is available on selected services. The new delivery A321 aircraft will feature state of the art entertainment systems with a potential for onboard wi-fi capabilities.

A copy of the Thomas Cook Airlines magazine Travel can be found in all seat pockets, alongside the Emporium brochure, which details all the tax/duty-free products Thomas Cook Airlines stock on board.

Long Haul

Economy Cabin

When flying long haul with Thomas Cook, in-flights meals are included for all passengers, regardless of which cabin class. This would feature a main meal and a further meal before landing.

Drinks and snacks can be purchased on board from the Café Cloud menu. The in-flight meals available on board Thomas Cook flights are designed exclusively by celebrity chef James Martin.

A copy of the Thomas Cook Airlines magazine Travel can be found in all seat pockets, alongside the Emporium brochure, which details all the tax/duty-free products Thomas Cook Airlines stock on board.

Personal on-demand seat-back entertainment is available on the A330-200 aircraft.

✔20kg checked in baggage allowance – non USA routes ✔23kg checked in baggage allowance – USA routes ✔6kg hand baggage allowance – All long haul routes ✔3 course meal service – James Martin ✔Lighter meal/snack prior to landing

Premium Economy Cabin

From May 2015 a new Premium Economy product & service will be offered, including priority check-in, priority boarding, fast track security, complimentary drinks, meals & snacks, newspapers, extra luggage, pillows & duvets & amenity kits.

This cabin will have dedicated cabin crew and passengers will seated in the front section of the aircraft in a newly designed on-board cabin.

Your pre-departure experience ✔Choose seats online prior to departure ✔30kg checked in baggage allowance – non USA routes ✔Two pieces of 23kg checked in baggage allowance (46Kg total) – USA routes ✔10kg hand baggage allowance

While at the airport ✔Sun Down Check-in & Bag Drop open from 4pm-10pm at Manchester Airport ✔Separate Premium Check-in (not including Holguin in Cuba) ✔Fast track security pass at Manchester airport ✔Separate premium boarding ✔Premium baggage – baggage first off

Our on-board services ✔Complimentary welcome drink and snack prior to take-off ✔3 course James Martin premium meal service plus light meal/snack prior to landing ✔Complimentary drinks (not including Champagne) ✔Amenity Kit Cool bag with eye mask, socks, toothbrush and toothpaste, head set and ear plugs on the outbound journey and a felt folder for Ipad Mini or E-reader on return

✔Premium pillow and blanket ✔Head-set for the in-flight entertainment system ✔Complimentary activity for kids under 7 ✔Newspaper or magazines ✔Additional content on the in-flight entertainment system

Cabin Interior[edit]

Thomas Cook are in the process of replacing all their older aircraft with new Airbus A321's. The cabin interior is yellow & grey to reflect the new corporate livery.

Economy class cabin of a Thomas Cook Airlines Airbus A330-200

The new aircraft will feature new slim design leather seats in a two tone grey design, with a yellow smile and headrest with the new Sunny Heart Logo. These seats feature the seat pocket in the upper part of the seat in front, which allows for increased legroom.

On short and medium-haul flights the Airbus A321 & Boeing 757 aircraft are used, both these aircraft types feature a cabin layout of 3-3.

The current fleet of Airbus A321 & Boeing 757’s have undergone a light cabin upgrade to increase your comfort on-board. Sit back and relax with a seat pitch of 29-30”, and a recline of 3”. Whilst you travel to your destination and still why not tune in to a family classic movie or a latest blockbuster on our overhead TV screens in-flight entertainment.

The Boeing 767 is primarily used on medium-haul routes, and operates in an all economy configuration with a 30" seat pitch, in a 2-4-2 cabin layout. This aircraft can be used on longhaul routes when and if additional capacity is needed.

The Airbus A330 aircraft are used primarily on long-haul routes and features personal seat-back entertainment in both Premium Economy and Economy Class Cabins. Economy Class offers a 33" seat pitch in a 2-4-2 cabin layout. Premium Economy offers a 35-36" seat pitch with a 6" recline and a 19" width in a wider 2-3-2 cabin layout.

Over the next 6 months Thomas Cook Airlines are investing over £8.5million in refurbishing their A330 fleet.

With brand new ergonomic seats giving increased living space, they've also reduced the number of seats per row from nine to eight seats to give your seats more width. To make your journey go even faster every seat has a personal on demand video system allowing you to watch the latest blockbusters or enjoy a classic film whilst tucking in to your James Martin meal.

Thomas Cook are introducing a new Premium cabin and service from Manchester, Belfast and selected flights from London Gatwick allowing you to arrive in style, relaxed and ready to start your holiday. With a wider seat, more legroom, dedicated crew you can trust that your every need will be catered for.


Thomas Cook Airlines carried around 6.1 million passengers during 2013, a 10.3% reduction compared with 2012.[5]

Year Total passengers Total flights Load factor Passenger Change YoY
2005* 9,320,817 47,287 89.9%
2006* 8,441,276 42,182 89.0% Decrease009.4%
2007* 8,528,655 43,013 87.9% Increase001.0%
2008 8,315,327 42,410 90.0% Decrease002.5%
2009 8,202,534 38,849 92.0% Decrease001.4%
2010 8,120,815 37,571 93.1% Decrease001.0%
2011 7,969,693 36,103 93.3% Decrease001.9%
2012 6,783,661 32,109 94.1% Decrease014.9%
2013 6,084,315 28,438 93.1% Decrease010.3%
* Data for 2005 to 2007 includes MyTravel Airways
Source: UK Civil Aviation Authority


  • Silver Award - Most Environmentally Responsible Airline 2008 [6]
  • Runner-Up UK Charter Airline for Punctuality - Summer 2006[7]
  • Most Punctual UK Charter Airline - Summer 2002 & Summer 2003[7]
  • Most Punctual UK Charter Airline - Winter 2002/03, Winter 2003/04, Winter 2008/09 & Winter 2009/10[7]
  • Best Airline Website – UK Travelmole Web Awards 2015 [8]


External links[edit]