Air 2000

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Air 2000
Air 2000 logo new.png
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded 1987
Ceased operations 2004 (Renamed First Choice Airways)
Operating bases Manchester Airport
London Gatwick
Glasgow Airport
Fleet size 28
Destinations Europe
North America
Parent company First Choice Holidays PLC
Headquarters Manchester Airport
An Air 2000 Boeing 757-200 seen in the early 1990s in the original livery.
An Air 2000 Airbus A321 seen in 2000.
Air 2000 Airbus A321 seen in 2003
Original logo 1987-1996
Logo 1996-2003

Air 2000 was a British charter airline that operated for 17 years between 1987 and 2004. The airline was renamed as First Choice Airways in 2004 which lasted until TUI Travel PLC merged with First Choice Holidays PLC in 2008 and as a result First Choice Airways was merged with Thomsonfly to create Thomson Airways.


The airline started operations on 11 April 1987, launched by the Owners Abroad Group using two Boeing 757 aircraft. The fleet doubled a year later, with one aircraft being based at Glasgow International Airport. In the same year, the airline set up a subsidiary in Canada, to be called Air 2000 Airline Ltd. This subsidiary lasted only a few days before the Canadian government suspended its licence. The second attempt was more successful and became Canada 3000.

Long haul services to Mombasa in Kenya were introduced during the 1988/89 season. The 757s were re-equipped for extended range and flights to the United States began in 1989. The airline was granted a licence for scheduled operations by the CAA in 1992, which commenced on 3 October 1993, initially between London-Gatwick and Larnaca (and later that month Paphos), Cyprus. Over the next few years scheduled routes to Cyprus from Birmingham, Glasgow, Manchester and Newcastle were introduced. In 2000 additional 'DP' scheduled services were introduced from 8 UK airports to 6 major Spanish and Portuguese holiday destinations.

In 1998 First Choice acquired rival tour operator Unijet including their in-house airline Leisure International Airways. The Leisure International Airways fleet was repainted in Air 2000 colours.

Air 2000 received a new livery in Spring 2003. This was short lived as in 2004 Air 2000 was renamed First Choice Airways.


The Air 2000 fleet included the following aircraft (at March 2004)

Air 2000 Fleet
Aircraft In Fleet Order Seats
Airbus A320-214 5 0 180
Airbus A321-211 3 0 218
Boeing 757-200 14 0 233
Boeing 767-300ER 6 0 258
Total 28