TUI Airways

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TUI Airways [1]
TUI Logo 2016.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
as Britannia Airways[3]
Commenced operations1 November 2008
as Thomson Airways
2 October 2017
as TUI Airways
AOC #294
Operating bases
Fleet size57
Company sloganDiscover Your Smile
Parent companyTUI Group
HeadquartersRegistered office: Crawley
Head office: Luton[4][5]
Key peopleDawn Wilson (Managing Director)
Employeesapprox. 12,500

TUI Airways, formerly Thomson Airways and often referred to as TUI UK, is the world's largest charter airline, offering scheduled and charter flights from the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland to destinations in Europe, Africa, Asia and North America. The airline carried 11.2 million passengers in 2017, making it the third-largest UK airline by total passengers, after EasyJet and British Airways. TUI Airways is also the worlds 10th largest airline by number of route pairings served.[6]

The registered office is at the TUI Travel House in Crawley, West Sussex but its head office is located in Wigmore House in Luton, Bedfordshire.[7] TUI Airways Limited holds a United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Type A Operating Licence permitting it to carry passengers, cargo and mail on aircraft with 20 or more seats.

The airline was formed following the merger of the travel division of TUI AG and First Choice Holidays plc in September 2007 to form TUI Travel. The two companies' respective airlines, Thomsonfly and First Choice Airways, were merged under the former's Air Operator's Certificate in May 2008 and were rebranded as Thomson Airways on 1 November 2008. TUI Travel merged with TUI AG to form TUI Group in December 2014.

TUI Airways officially changed its legal name from Thomson Airways to TUI Airways on 2 October 2017.[1] This was in line with sister companies TUI fly Belgium, TUI fly Deutschland, TUI fly Netherlands and TUI fly Nordic. All airlines in the group, excluding Corsair International, are now rebranded to TUI.


TUI Airways has its origins in several predecessor airlines. Euravia, an airline which was founded in January 1962[8] was renamed Britannia Airways in December 1964.[9] Orion Airways, founded in 1979 by Horizon Holidays and later owned by the large brewing firm Bass Brewery and InterContinental Hotels Group, was sold and merged into Britannia Airways in 1989. Britannia Airways was rebranded as Thomsonfly in May 2005.[10] Finally, Air 2000 was founded in 1987, and which integrated the operations of Leisure International Airways in 1998, became First Choice Airways in 2004.

Thomsonfly and First Choice Airways merged following the merger of the travel division of TUI AG and First Choice Holidays PLC in September 2007. All flights operated under the Thomsonfly CAA Air Operator's Certificate from 1 May 2008.[citation needed] The Thomson Airways brand was launched for the combined airline on 1 November 2008,[11] which became the world's largest charter airline.

767-300ER in the former Thomson branded "Dynamic Wave" livery

The new brand retained the Thomsonfly colour scheme, and aircraft in the fleet were gradually repainted. Several First Choice Airways aircraft remained in the First Choice livery as they were due to be phased out of service. A new livery, named "Dynamic Wave" (which will also be applied on Thomson Cruises ships),[12] was introduced in May 2012.

TUI Airways became the first UK airline to take delivery of the Boeing 787, receiving the first aircraft in May 2013.[13] Passenger services with the aircraft began on 21 June 2013 with a flight between London Gatwick and Menorca.[14] Also in 2013, the parent group TUI Travel, now known as TUI Group, ordered 70 Boeing 737 MAX for delivery to group airlines.[15]

TUI Airways carried 10.6 million passengers during 2015, a 2.4% increase compared with 2014.[6]

TUI rebrand[edit]

On 13 May 2015, it was announced by the TUI Group that all five of TUI's airline subsidiaries will be named TUI, whilst keeping their separate Air Operators Certificate, taking over three years to complete. TUI Airways was the last airline to be completed in late 2017.[16] The rebrand began in mid-2016, with the addition of the new 'TUI' titles to its fleet.[17][18]

In December 2016, Thomson Holidays launched their final television advertisement using the 'Thomson' brand, before integrating into the 'TUI' brand.[19] During the rebrand in 2017, the "TOMSON" callsign was dropped and replaced with "TUI AIR".[20]

In May 2017, the brand TUI Airways began to be used in several areas and was implemented on all flight tracker applications. Most of the aircraft had been branded with 'TUI' titles and onboard items such as glasses and napkins carried the new brand. Thomson Airways officially changed its legal name to TUI Airways on 2 October 2017.[1] TUI's sister company, TUI UK (formerly Thomson Holidays), has ceased using the 'Thomson' brand, adopting the TUI UK brand on 18 October 2017.

Corporate affairs[edit]

Wigmore House, the head office of TUI Airways near Luton

Head office[edit]

The airline's head office is in the Wigmore House near Luton, Bedfordshire.[21] The facility is adjacent to Luton Airport.[22]


TUI Airways' largest base is at London-Gatwick, closely followed by Manchester with its third largest at Birmingham. Further aircraft are based at fourteen other UK airports. Bristol, East Midlands, London-Luton and Newcastle each have three aircraft. Cardiff, Doncaster Sheffield, Glasgow and London-Stansted have two, whilst Belfast-International, Bournemouth, Edinburgh, Exeter, Leeds/Bradford, Norwich Airport and Aberdeen Airport are all served by a single based aircraft.[citation needed]

This has remained largely consistent for many years, however, from summer 2018 both Glasgow and London-Luton will lose an aircraft (to become one and two based respectively) whilst a new base will open at Aberdeen with a single aircraft and operations are increased at larger bases such as London-Gatwick. Some of these bases may have additional aircraft through certain parts of the week to service long-haul flights. From summer 2019 Glasgow will go back as having two based aircraft and Leeds/Bradford will no longer be served.[citation needed]

Business figures[edit]

Year Total passengers Total flights Load factor Passenger Change (YoY)
2005* 15,501,616 82,913 88.6%
2006* 15,134,699 83,556 88.4% Decrease02.4%
2007* 15,018,973 82,360 89.1% Decrease00.8%
2008 12,234,618 65,348 91.1% Decrease018.5%
2009 11,238,774 59,195 90.2% Decrease08.1%
2010 10,965,111 56,522 89.9% Decrease02.4%
2011 11,049,288 57,713 89.3% Increase00.8%
2012 10,703,338 54,372 92.0% Decrease03.1%
2013 10,548,952 54,926 92.4% Decrease01.4%
2014 10,366,959 54,257 93.0% Decrease01.7%
2015 10,611,175 53,869 93.8% Increase02.4%
2016 10,942,651 55,295 94.1% Increase03.1%
2017 11,254,429 57,698 93.5% Increase02.9%
2018 11,167,287 58,397 92.8% Decrease 0.77%
* Data for 2005 to 2007 includes First Choice Airways
Source: UK Civil Aviation Authority [6]


Most scheduled flights operated by TUI Airways are on behalf of tour operators. The airline offers flights to destinations around the Mediterranean, the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean from 19 base airports in the United Kingdom. Additionally, seasonal charter routes are served from Copenhagen,[23] Dublin,[24] Helsinki,[25] Oslo[26] and Stockholm.[27]


TUI Airways Boeing 737-800 wearing the former 'Thomson' titles
TUI Airways Boeing 757-200 wearing the former 'Thomson' titles
TUI Airways Boeing 787-8 wearing the former 'Thomson' titles
TUI Airways Boeing 737-800 lands at Bristol Airport in 2019

Current fleet[edit]

As of June 2019, the TUI Airways fleet consists of the following aircraft:[28]

TUI Airways fleet
Aircraft In service Orders Passengers Notes
P Y Total
Boeing 737-800 25 189 189
Boeing 737 MAX 8 6 189 189 Six aircraft stored due to international groundings
Boeing 737 MAX 10 14[29] TBA
Boeing 757-200 12 221 221 Retirement begins in 2018.[30]
Planned to be replaced with Boeing 737 MAX 10.[30]
Retirement delayed due to MAX groundings
Boeing 767-300ER 4 328 328 Retirement begins in 2020.[30]
Planned to be replaced with Boeing 787-9
Boeing 787-8 8 47 253 300
Boeing 787-9 4 2[31] 63 282 345 Deliveries complete by June 2020.[31]
Replacing Boeing 767-300ER
Total 53 18

Historical fleet[edit]

TUI Airways historical fleet
Aircraft Introduced Retired Notes
Airbus A320-200 2008 2012 Inherited from First Choice Airways
Airbus A321-200 2008 2013 Inherited from First Choice Airways
Boeing 737-300 2008 2012 Inherited from Thomsonfly


  • Winner of a Mercury Award for Skills Development in 2010[32]


  1. ^ a b c "TUI AIRWAYS LIMITED - Overview (free company information from Companies House)". Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  2. ^ "IATA - Airline and Airport Code Search". Retrieved 13 April 2015.
  3. ^ "Thomson Airways Limited - Filing History". Companies House.
  4. ^ [1][permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Aircraft registration - UK Civil Aviation Authority". Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  6. ^ a b c "UK Airline Data". UK Civil Aviation Authority. 29 April 2017. Retrieved 29 April 2017.
  7. ^ "Booking Conditions." Thomson Airways. Retrieved on 4 February 2011."Both Thomson Airways and TUI UK Limited have their Registered Office at TUI Travel House, Crawley Business Quarter, Fleming Way, Crawley RH10 9QL[...]"
  8. ^ "Euravia (London) Ltd". Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  9. ^ "Flight International article published 17 December 1964". Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  10. ^ "Flights with TUI - Thomson now TUI Airways". Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  11. ^ New Thomson Airways brand launched Archived 10 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "THOMSON CRUISES UNVEILS PLANS FOR NEW SHIP DISCOVERY - TUITravel Media Centre - Thomson". TUITravel Media Centre - Thomson. 13 November 2015. Archived from the original on 4 June 2016. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
  13. ^ "Boeing Delivers Thomson Airways' First 787 Dreamliner". Manchester, UK: Boeing UK. 31 May 2013. Archived from the original on 24 June 2013. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  14. ^ "London Gatwick welcomes first 'hub-busting' Dreamliner (> Media Centre > News)". Gatwick Airport. 21 June 2013. Archived from the original on 24 June 2013. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  15. ^ "TUI shareholders approve 737 Max order". 10 July 2013. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  16. ^ [2]
  17. ^ "ABCD". Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  18. ^ "Thomson and First Choice to be axed as part of brand consolidation under TUI name". Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  19. ^ Smithers, Rebecca (7 December 2016). "Thomson to launch final TV ad before Tui rebrand". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  20. ^ "U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION : FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION : JO 7340.2G CHG 1 : Air Traffic Organization Policy" (PDF). Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  21. ^ "GINFO Search Results". Civil Aviation Authority. 30 June 2012. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
  22. ^ "Wigmore House". Duncan-Welch & Co. Retrieved 4 January 2011.
  23. ^ "Only Flight".
  24. ^ "Flight Timetable". TUI Holidays.
  25. ^ "Only Flight".
  26. ^ "Only Flight".
  27. ^ "Only Flight".
  28. ^ "United Kingdom Civil Aircraft Register". Civil Aviation Authority. 17 May 2018. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  29. ^ "TUI fly krijgt naast B737 MAX8 ook vier MAX10's in de vloot". Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  30. ^ a b c "TUI Group to simplify fleet, mulls more B737 MAX 10s". 25 July 2018. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  31. ^ a b "Thomson Airways Celebrates Expansion of Long Haul Fleet with Arrival of Latest 787-9 Dreamliner". TUI Group. 19 May 2017. Retrieved 23 May 2017.
  32. ^ "TUI UK Media Centre". Retrieved 9 November 2018.

External links[edit]

Media related to Thomson Airways at Wikimedia Commons