||THOMAS COOK AIRLINES
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||+44 161 2326610
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STABLISHED IN 1990 AND STARTED OPERATIONS IN 1991. FORMERLY AIRTOURS INTERNATIONAL AND MYTRAVEL. TOOK PRESENT NAME OF THOMAS COOK AIRLINES (GUE) IN 2003. INTERNATIONAL, CHARTER, PASSENGER, JET AIRPLANE SERVICES.
SECOND FLOOR, COMMONWEALTH HOUSE
CHICAGO AVENUE, MANCHESTER AIRPORT
MANCHESTER M90 3FL, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
HANGAR 1, WESTERN MAINTENANCE AREA
RUNGER LANE, MANCHESTER AIRPORT
MANCHESTER M90 5FL, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
Great Britain (United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland) was established in 1066, it covers an area of 242,432 sq km, its population is 59 million, its capital city is London and its official language is English.
Thomas Cook is the world’s best-known name in travel, thanks to the inspiration and dedication of a single man. Thomas Cook began his international travel company in 1841, with a successful one-day rail excursion at a shilling a head from Leicester to Loughborough on 5 July. From these humble beginnings, Thomas Cook launched a whole new kind of company – devoted to helping Britons see the world.
On 9 June 1841, a 32-year old cabinet-maker named Thomas Cook walked from his home in Market Harborough to the nearby town of Leicester to attend a temperance meeting. A former Baptist preacher, Thomas Cook was a religious man, who believed that most Victorian social problems were related to alcohol and that the lives of working people would be greatly improved if they drank less and became better educated. As he walked along the road to Leicester, he later recalled, 'the thought suddenly flashed across my mind as to the practicability of employing the great powers of railways and locomotion for the furtherance of this social reform'. At the meeting, Thomas suggested that a special train be engaged to carry the temperance supporters of Leicester to a meeting in Loughborough, about four weeks later. The proposal was received with such enthusiasm that, on the following day, Thomas submitted his idea to the Secretary of the Midland Railway Company. A train was subsequently arranged, and on 5 July 1841, about 500 passengers were conveyed in open carriages the enormous distance of 12 miles and back for a shilling. The day was a great success and, as Thomas later recorded, 'thus was struck the keynote of my excursions, and the social idea grew upon me.'
During the next three summers, Thomas arranged a succession of trips between Leicester, Nottingham, Derby, and Birmingham, on behalf of local temperance societies and Sunday schools. Within these limits, many thousands of people experienced rail travel for the first time, and Thomas was able to lay the foundations of his future business. He later described this period as one of 'enthusiastic philanthropy' since, beyond the printing of posters and handbills, he had no financial interest in any of these early excursions. Thomas Cook's first commercial venture took place in the summer of 1845, when he organized a trip to Liverpool. This was a far more ambitious project than anything he had previously attempted, and he made his preparations with great thoroughness. Not content with simply providing tickets at low prices - 15 shillings for first-class (F) passengers and 10 shillings for second. Thomas also investigated the route and published a handbook of the journey. This 60-page booklet was a forerunner of the modern holiday brochure.
By the end of 1850, having already visited Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, Thomas Cook began to contemplate foreign trips to Europe, the USA and the Holy Land. Such thoughts had to be postponed, however, when Sir Joseph Paxton, architect of the Crystal Palace, persuaded Thomas to devote himself to bringing workers from Yorkshire and the Midlands to London for the Great Exhibition of 1851. This he did with great enthusiasm, rarely spending a night at home between June and October, and he even produced a newspaper, "Cook's Exhibition Herald and Excursion Advertiser," in order to promote his tours. By the end of the season, Thomas had taken 150,000 people to London, his final trains to the Exhibition carrying 3,000 children from Leicester, Nottingham, and Derby.
Thomas continued to expand his business in Britain, but he was determined to develop it in Europe too. In 1855, an International Exhibition was held in Paris for the first time, and Thomas seized this opportunity by trying to persuade the companies commanding the Channel traffic to allow him concessions. They refused to work with him, however, and the only route he was able to use was the one between Harwich and Antwerp. This opened up the way for a grand circular tour to include Brussels, Cologne, the Rhine, Heidelberg, Baden-Baden, Strasbourg, and Paris, returning to London via Le Havre or Dieppe. By this route, during the summer of 1855, Thomas escorted his first tourists to Europe.
Thomas visited Switzerland for the first time in June 1863. Although this initial tour was little more than an information-gathering trip, a party of more than >60 ladies and gentlemen accompanied Thomas as far as Geneva. Among these pioneering tourists was a young woman called Jemima Morrell, who maintained a written account of each day's events. Her original diaries may be studied today in the Thomas Cook Archives. Thomas organized further trips to the Continent in 1863, and by the end of the season, he had taken nearly 2000 tourists to Paris, some 500 of whom had continued to Switzerland. With the co-operation of the Paris, Lyons and Mediterranean Railway, Thomas began to issue circular tickets (in both English and French) between Paris and the Alps. He then established the first circular tours of Switzerland, which were such an immediate success, that he decided to extend his arrangements across the Alps. The first Italian tours took place in the summer of 1864, when Thomas escorted two large groups, one to Florence and parts of central Italy, the other to Rome and Naples.
Thomas's travelers to Switzerland and Italy were from the growing middle classes, and they expected better accommodation than his earlier working-class customers had. He therefore set out to negotiate with innkeepers and hotel proprietors to provide rooms and meals at good prices. His friendship with hoteliers, who were pleased to get his business, enabled Thomas to develop two important travel systems: one was the hotel coupon, launched in 1868, which travelers could use to pay for hotel accommodation, and meals instead of using money; the other was his circular note, first issued in 1874 and a forerunner of the travelers check, which enabled tourists to obtain local currency in exchange for a paper note issued by Thomas Cook.
Building on his successes in Europe, Thomas made an exploratory trip to North America in 1865, and set up a system of tours covering 4,000 miles of railways. Four years later, in 1869, he hired two steamers and conducted his first party up the Nile. The climax of his career, however, came in September 1872 when, at the age of 63, he departed from Leicester on a tour of the world, that would keep him away from home for almost eight months. It had long been his ambition to travel 'to Egypt via China', but such a trip only became practicable at the end of 1869, following the opening of the Suez Canal and the completion of a rail network linking the east and west coasts of America.
Thomas and his small party crossed the Atlantic by steamship and made their way through the USA from New York to San Francisco by rail. They traveled by Pacific steamer to Japan, then across the Inland Sea to China, and afterwards visited Singapore, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), and India. Leaving Bombay (Mumbai), they crossed the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea to Cairo, from where most of the party travelled back to London. Thomas himself, however, set off on an extended tour of Egypt and Palestine, finally returning home via Turkey, Greece, Italy, and France after an absence of 222 days. The conducted world tour quickly became an annual event, but many additional tickets were issued to independent travelers, some of whom went via Australia and New Zealand, rather than China and Japan.
While Thomas was traveling round the world, his son, John Mason Cook, successfully completed the firm's move to a new head office at Ludgate Circus. Father and son argued over certain aspects of the project, however, and in 1878 their partnership ended. John was a better businessman than Thomas, and he set about expanding the company internationally. In an age when telegraphy was in its infancy and there were no telephones or fax machines, this was far from easy. John created overseas editions of "The Excursionist," the newspaper started by his father in 1851, to inform customers in places such as France, Germany, India, Australasia, the USA, and the Far East about the services he offered. (This newspaper, which became known as "The Traveller's Gazette" in May 1902, continued to be published until 1939). He also kept up a continuous stream of correspondence with his offices abroad, checking on their work and complaining if anything went wrong. Like many successful businessmen, John Mason Cook combined a flair for grasping business opportunities with a remarkable memory for small details.
In 1884, John Mason Cook was asked by the British Government to organize a relief expedition up the Nile, to rescue General Gordon from Khartoum. Arrangements were made for the movement of 18,000 troops, nearly 40,000 tons of supplies, 40,000 tons of coal, and 800 whaleboats. To transport the coal from Tyneside to Boulac and Assiout , via Alexandria, 28 large steamers and 6,000 railway trucks were required. An additional 7,000 railway trucks were needed for the military stores, while on the Nile, 27 steamers and 650 sailing boats were used to carry the troops and supplies. John and his Egyptian managers acted as overseers of the entire operation, which relied on the labor of 5,000 local men and boys, and completed their side of the contract in November 1884. Despite all the efforts, however, Khartoum fell in January 1885, and Gordon was killed.
Thomas and John Mason Cook both died during the 1890s, and the business was inherited by John's three sons: Frank Henry, Ernest Edward, and Thomas Albert ('Bert'). During the first quarter of the twentieth century - a period which saw the introduction of winter sports holidays, tours by motor car and commercial air travel - the firm of Thomas Cook and Son dominated the world travel scene. The company was incorporated as Thomas Cook & Son Ltd in 1924, and in 1926 , the headquarters moved from Ludgate Circus to Berkeley Street, Mayfair, a once aristocratic area, which was now the centre of London society. Then, in 1928, the surviving grandsons, Frank and Ernest (Bert having died in 1914), unexpectedly sold the business to the Belgian Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits et des Grands Express Européens, operators of most of Europe's luxury sleeping cars, including the Orient Express.
Shortly after the outbreak of World War II, the Wagons-Lits headquarters in Paris was seized by occupying forces, and Cook's British assets were requisitioned by the British Government. To save the company from complete financial collapse in its centenary year, a deal was brokered and, fittingly, the organization was sold to Britain's four mainline railway companies. Thomas Cook & Son Ltd settled its affairs with Wagons-Lits (which retained a 25% share in "Cook's" overseas) immediately after the war, and in 1948 the firm became state-owned as part of the nationalized British Railways.
Thomas Cook & Son Ltd benefited from the post-war holiday boom, which saw one million Britons traveling abroad by 1950. The company set up a Business Travel Service and refurbished its holiday camp at Prestatyn, Wales (which had opened shortly before the outbreak of war). Although Cook's remained the largest and most successful company in the industry, its pre-eminence was now being challenged by new travel firms, that were able to undercut Cook's prices and offer cheap package deals. In 1965, the company's net profits exceeded >£1 million for the first time, but in an increasingly cut-throat marketplace, Thomas Cook began to fall behind its younger rivals.
In 1972, Thomas Cook & Son Ltd returned to private ownership, bought by a consortium of the Midland Bank, Trust House Forte, and the Automobile Association. Radical reorganization followed and a new, standardized corporate logo (the words 'Thomas Cook' in 'flame' red) was soon introduced. Thomas Cook managed to survive the recession of the 1970s - a recession which saw the collapse of several travel firms - and enhanced its reputation for providing excellent service by launching a "Money Back Guarantee" scheme in 1974. Thomas Cook experienced many changes during the 1970s, including the sale of its holiday camp at Prestatyn and the relocation of its administrative headquarters from London to Peterborough. The firm also became a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Midland Bank Group. In the 1980s, Thomas Cook began to concentrate on its long-haul tours program, purchasing Rankin Kuhn Travel in 1982, and quitting the short-haul package tours market in 1988 (a market to which Thomas Cook successfully returned in 1996 when it acquired Sunworld).
Thomas Cook's longevity was celebrated in 1991 (its 150th anniversary!) and the company's continued success was assured when it was purchased from the Midland Bank by Westdeutsche Landesbank (WestLB), Germany's third largest bank, and the (LTU) Group, Germany's leading charter airline, in 1992. Thomas Cook became a wholly-owned subsidiary of WestLB in 1995. A period of expansion followed - which saw the acquisition of Sunworld, Time Off, and Flying Colours in quick succession - culminating in Thomas Cook's merger with Carlson Leisure Group's UK travel interests, and the subsequent formation of (JMC) (JMA) in 1999.
Today, Thomas Cook UK & Ireland is the second largest leisure travel group in the UK, with around 19,000 employees. It is now part of Thomas Cook plc (JMA) (http://www.thomascookgroup.com) which was formed on June 19th 2007 by the merger of Thomas Cook AG (JMA)/(TCW) and MyTravel Group plc (GUE)/(PRH).
Thomas Cook UK & Ireland today operates a fleet of 45 airplanes, has a network of more than >800 high street stores (Thomas Cook and Going Places), leading websites (http://www.thomascook.com and http://www.airtours.co.uk), its own television channel, Thomas Cook TV (Sky channel 645), and some of the world's favorite travel brands. These brands include Airtours, Club 18-30, Bridge, Cresta, CruiseThomasCook, Direct Holidays, Flexibletrips, flythomascook.com, Latitude, Manos, MyTravel, Neilson, Panorama, Style Holidays, Sunset, Sunworld Holidays, Thomas Cook, Thomas Cook Signature, Thomas Cook Sport and Tradewinds.
The company's airlines, Thomas Cook Airlines (JMA)/(TCW) and MyTravel Airways (GUE)/(PRH) fly from various regional airports to destinations worldwide. From March 2008, the airline will be combined and will operate at Thomas Cook Airlines (JMA).
Thomas Cook offers a range of financial services, including foreign exchange at competitive rates, the Thomas Cook Credit Card in conjunction with Barclaycard, the cash passport and a wide range of travel insurance policies. It is the only major travel company to be FSA regulated for its travel insurance, which is underwritten by AXA. The company also owns White Horse Insurance Ireland Ltd.
One reason for the company's longevity and continued success is its commitment to providing exceptional service. Thomas Cook once described himself as 'the willing and devoted servant of the travelling public'. Today, more than >160 years after his pioneering excursion, these words remain a fitting epithet to the company he founded.
JANUARY 1993: AIR TOUR INTERNATIONAL (GUE) SERVICES TO AUSTRALIA, CYPRUS, EGYPT, FRANCE, GREECE, MALTA, MAJORCA, PORTUGAL, SPAIN, THAILAND, TUNISIA, TURKEY, & USA.
1992 = +$14.6 MILLION (+$4.1 MILLION) (NET PROFIT): +89.7% PASSENGERS (PAX).
5 YEAR MAINTENANCE CONTRACT WITH MONARCH AIRLINES (MON).
NOVEMBER 1993: UK REGULATORY AUTHORITY (CAA) REJECTED EXTENDED TWIN-ENGINE OPERATIONS (ETOPS) AT AIRPLANE'S ENTRY INTO SERVICE.
1 737-300 LEASED TO TAESA (TES).
JANUARY 1994: ABSORBED INTER EUROPEAN AIRWAYS, CARDIFF, WALES, WITH 100% PURCHASE.
2 767-300ER'S (VN951; VN952) DELIVERIES. $200 MILLION, 2 ORDERS 767-31KER'S (CF6-80C2B7F). HOPES TO GET EXTENDED TWIN ENGINE OPERATIONS (ETOPS) TO FLORIDA AND CARIBBEAN.
MAY 1994: 3 MD-83'S, DAMP LEASED FROM FINNAIR (FIN), FOR SUMMER, 167Y.
MAR 1995: 1 757-200ER (RB211-535E4), AND 1 A320-200 (V2500-A1) DELIVERIES.
JULY 1995: 1ST 6 MONTHS: +38.7% (RPK) TRAFFIC, +26.8% PASSENGERS (PAX), +151.9% (FTK) FREIGHT TRAFFIC, 93.4% LF (LOAD FACTOR) (-0.2).
NOVEMBER 1995: 1 A320-200 (CFM56-5A3), EX-(EXW).
DECEMBER 1995: 1 MD-83 (JT8D-219) SOLD TO FAR EASTERN AIR TRANSPORT (FAT).
JANUARY 1996: 1995 = +30.1% (RPK) TRAFFIC, +25% PASSENGERS (PAX), +84.8% (FTK) FREIGHT TRAFFIC.
-3 MD-83'S (/95), -5 MD-83'S IN 1996. ADDED 4 757'S, & 2 A320'S TO FLEET IN 1995, TO ACQUIRE 6 A320'S IN 1996, & 1 ORDER 767-300ER. 1996 FLEET = 6 757-200'S, 2 767-300ER'S, 10 A320-200'S, 2 EX-(EXW).
FEBRUARY 1996: CARNIVAL AIRLINES (CVL) BOUGHT A 29.6% ($310 MILLION) STAKE IN AIRTOURS INTERNATIONAL (GUE). (GUE) ACQUIRED SPIES-TJAEREBORG, DENMARK, WHICH OWNS 50% OF PREMIAIR (PRH) (13 A320'S, A300'S & DC-10'S) THROUGH ITS SCANDINAVIAN LEISURE GROUP SUBSIDIARY. AIRTOURS INTERNATIONAL (GUE) NOW HAS 10,000 EMPLOYEES IN 70 COUNTRIES.
DAVID CROSSLAND, CHAIRMAN.
APRIL 1996: 1 A320-200 (V2527-A5), EX-SKYSERVICE (SKB).
MAY 1996: +1 ORDER (1997-03) 757-200 (RB211-535E4).
JUNE 1996: 4 ORDERS (1997 - 2000) A321-200'S (CFM56), 220 PAX, FOR EUROPE & MEDITERRANEAN ROUTES (1ST A321 OPERATOR IN UK).
JULY 1996: TO TAKE DELIVERY OF OPTION 767, IN MARCH 1996, AND A 757 IS EXPECTED IN APRIL 1997, SO FLEET WILL BE 7 757'S & 3 767'S.
TOOK OVER ALBA, A CANADIAN REGIONAL TOUR CARRIER.
LAST QUARTER = 19.7 MILLION POUNDS: STRONG PERFORMANCE UK & SCANDINAVIA DIVISIONS.
SEPTEMBER 1996: FARNBOROUGH AIR SHOW, 1 ORDER (3RD) 767-300ER (1997).
OCTOBER 1996: 1 757 (NA008) WET-LEASED TO SPANAIR (SPP), FOR HELSINKI TO THE CANARY ISLANDS, FOR THE WINTER SEASON.
NOVEMBER 1996: 6 A320'S (V2500) (163; 164; 168; 169; 179; 193) FROM SUBSIDIARY PREMIAIR (PRH), IN EXCHANGE FOR 6 A320'S (CFM56-5A3) (221; 222; 294; 299; 301; 349).
DEC 1996: 757 (767) (ETOPS): 34 (51) FLIGHTS/MONTH OVER NORTH ATLANTIC, 10 (36) OVER INDIAN OCEAN (/INDONESIA).
JANUARY 1997: AIRTOURS INTERNATIONAL (GUE) AND CARNIVAL CRUISES PURCHASED 49% IN A JOINT VENTURE WITH COSTA CROCHIERE CRUISE C0, GENOA, ITALY (10 SHIPS, MOSTLY IN THE MEDITERRANEAN). (GUE) & CARNIVAL (CVL) HAVE OPTION TO PURCHASE REMAINING 51% STOCK IN MARCH 1997, FOR 181 MILLION. DEVELOPING TIME SHARE RESORT 54 ACRES IN ORLANDO, FLORIDA, NEAR DISNEY WORLD, FOR $40 MILLION TO BE COMPLETED BY AUTUMN 1997.
1 DC-10-30, TO BE UTILIZED BY PREMIAIR (PRH) AS PART OF 3 DC-10-10'S FOR LONG HAUL SECTORS WITH SCANDINAVIAN LEISURE GROUP. 42 MONTH LEASE. 1 A320-200 (V2500-A1) EX-(PRH) & 1 A320-200 (CFM56-5A3) TO (PRH).
MARCH 1997: 1 757-200 (RB211-535E4) DELIVERY.
MAY 1997: 1,450 EMPLOYEES (INCLUDING 1,263 FLIGHT CREW (FC) & 14 MAINTENANCE TECHNICIANS (MT)).
1 767-31KER (PW4060), SPANAIR (SPP) 6 MONTH LEASED (28865).
SEPTEMBER 1997: PLANS TO USE MONARCH AIRLINES (MON) DC-10-30, FOR CHARTERS TO COSTA RICA IN SUMMER 1998. 1 ORDER (1997-11) A320 FROM ORIX.
OCTOBER 1997: AGREEMENT IN PRINCIPLE TO BUY 80% FOR $113 MILLION, IN SUN INTERNATIONAL, BELGIUM'S BIGGEST TOUR OPERATOR, WITH REMAINING 20% POSSIBLE IN EARLY 1998. SUN INTERNATIONAL CARRIED 1.4 MILLION PASSENGERS (PAX) IN 1997 FISCAL YEAR (FY).
8 FLIGHTS/MONTH OVER NORTH ATLANTIC & 48 FLIGHTS OVER INDIAN OCEAN 138 MINUTES 757 (ETOPS), AND 155 FLIGHTS/MONTH & 598 FLIGHTS OVER INDIAN OCEAN/INDONESIA 180 MINUTES 767 (ETOPS).
NOVEMBER 1997: 1 A320-200 (V2500) (437), EX-AIRWORLD (AWA).
DECEMBER 1997: 3 757-200'S MAINTENANCE CONTRACT TO MONARCH (MON) FOR "C" CHECK, STRUT MODIFICATIONS, & CORROSION PREVENTION & CONTROL PROGRAMM (CPCP). LIKELY TO ORDER A330-200'S FOR LONG-HAUL. IN LATE 1998, POSSIBLE DC-10-30'S ON 5 YEAR LEASES, ALTHOUGH MAY BE OPERATED BY DANISH SISTER COMPANY, PREMIAIR (PRH).
JANUARY 1998: AIRTOURS TOUR OPERATOR & TRAVEL GROUP, BUYS SUN INTERNATIONAL, OSTEND, BELGIUM, INCLUDING AIR BELGIUM (ABL) FOR $90.4 MILLION.
2 ORDERS (1999-04) A330-200'S (TRENT 772), AIRBUS LEASED. 1 757 (25620) LEASED TO GREENLANDAIR (GRL).
3 OF 7 757'S FLYING 43 NORTH ATLANTIC & 4 INDIAN OCEAN 138 MINUTES (ETOPS) FLIGHTS/MONTH. 3 767'S FLYING 115 NORTH ATLANTIC, 28 INDIAN OCEAN/INDONESIA 180 MINUTES (ETOPS) FLIGHTS/MONTH.
FEBRUARY 1998: ACQUIRES 1 A320 & 2 ORDERS A321'S FROM ORIX AVIATION SYSTEMS. 1 767-300ER, LEASED TO REPLACE DC-10 BACK-UP AIRPLANE, LEASED LAST YEAR.
MARCH 1998: IN SUMMER, AIR NEW ZEALAND (ANZ) WILL WET-LEASE A 747-200 FOR ORLANDO & CARIBBEAN, AND DRY LEASE A 767-300 TO AIRTOURS INTERNATIONAL (GUE). 1ST A321-211 (823) DELIVERY.
APRIL 1998: 1,450 EMPLOYEES (INCLUDING 1,263 FLIGHT CREW (FC) & 14 MAINTENANCE TECHNICIANS (MT)).
1 A321-211 (CFM56-5B) (808), GATX LEASED.
MAY 1998: RETURNED 757 TO SUNROCK LEASING (SNR). NOW 6.
JUNE 1998: STARTS SERVICE TO CUBA.
NEW AVIATION DIVISION = ENGINEERING RESTRUCTURING, WITH GENE MASHLAN, MANAGING DIRECTOR; ANDY BENDALL, TECHNICAL MANAGER; JOHN POTBURY, CONTRACTS MANAGER; GUDMUNDUR AXELSSON, MANAGER CONTRACTS, MATERIAL, & PURCHASING; MERV DAVIES, DIRECTOR MAINTENANCE & ENGINEERING; TREVOR WILKES, MAINTENANCE MANAGER; CHRIS HOLLAND, TECHNICAL SERVICES MANAGER; & HAROLD FLITCROFT, QUALITY MANAGER.
1 747-219B, AIR NEW ZEALAND (ANZ) DAMP LEASED, 416 PAX (ANZ) PILOTS, (GUE) CABIN ATTENDANTS (CA)'S). ALSO, 1 767-35HER, EX-(ANZ) FOR OPERATIONS FROM LONDON GATWICK. A330-200 SKYSERVICE (SKS) WET-LEASED FOR SUMMER FOR BELFAST TO BARCELONA. DC-10-30, PREMIAIR (PRH) LEASE EXTENDED TO 1998-10, AS A STANDBY. 1 A320-231 (437) LEASED TO RYAN INTERNATIONAL (RYN).
AUGUST 1998: THROUGH PURCHASE OF SUN COUNTRY (SCA), ACQUIRES 2 DC-10-10'S. WILL HAVE "C" MAINTENANACE CHECK, THEN RETURN TO MINNEAPOLIS IN ITS NEW LIVERY AS SKYSERVICE (SKB) USA.
NOVEMBER 1998: 1 737-3Q8QC (23766), AIR BELGIUM (ABL) 5 MONTH WET-LEASED. 747-219B (22791) & 767-35HER (26389) RETURNED TO AIR NEW ZEALAND (ANZ). A330-322 (095) SKYSERVICE (SKB) WET-LEASED FOR WINTER SEASON.
DECEMBER 1998: A320-232 (496) RETURNED TO SKYSERVICE (SKB).
JANUARY 1999: IN 1998, AIRTOURS INTERNATIONAL (GUE) SPENT $350 MILLION IN ACQUISITIONS, MOSTLY IN THE UK. IT RECENTLY TOOK OVER GERMAN TOUR OPERATOR FROSCH TOURISTIK, THUMBING ITS NOSE AT UK RIVAL THOMSON/BRITANNIA AIRWAYS (BRI), WHICH HAD SIGNED FROSH AS A PARTNER, IN ITS NEW GERMAN AIRLINE. NOW HAS PLANS TO CONSIDER BUYING FIRST CHOICE (ATZ), ONE OF UK'S TOP 4 TOUR OPERATORS, AND NOUVELLES FRONTIERES, WHOSE CORSAIR (COR) AFFILIATE IS FRANCE'S LARGEST CHARTER CARRIER.
AIRTOURS INTERNATIONAL (GUE) HAS FLEET OF 36 AIRPLANES, 8 MILLION PASSENGERS/YEAR, 2.5 MILLION HOLIDAY PACKAGES/YEAR. ISSUED $415 MILLION CONVERTIBLE BOND TO FINANCE FUTURE EXPANSION.
737-3Q8QC (23766) RETURNED TO AIR BELGIUM (ABL).
MARCH 1999: TREVOR WILKES, GENERAL MANAGER ENGINEERING & MAINTENANCE, REPLACES MERV DAVIES. PAUL TILLIN, MAINTENANCE MANAGER (TREVOR'S PREVIOUS POSITION), EX-LEISURE INTERNATIONAL AIRWAYS (UKL) ENGINEERING MANAGER.
APRIL 1999: 1,550 EMPLOYEES (INCLUDING 1,263 FLIGHT CREW (FC) & 14 MAINTENANCE TECHNICIANS (MT)).
WITH SUBSIDIARY, FROSCH TOURISTIK INTERNATIONAL (64%), AND OWNER OF AIRTOURS INTERNATIONAL (GUE) (36%), HAS NEW STARTUP CHARTER OPERATOR IN MUNICH NAMED "FLY FTI." TO SUPPLY 3 A320-231'S (V2500) (230; 338; 444), AND 1 737-46B (25262) FROM SUBSIDIARY, AIR BELGIUM (ABL).
MAY 1999: MAKES $1.4 BILLION BID FOR FIRST CHOICE HOLIDAYS, WHICH IS TOUR COMPANY OF AIR 2000 (ATZ), TO MAKE ITSELF THE LARGEST UK TOUR OPERATOR. EUROPEAN UNION (EU) & UK GOVERNMENT HAVE TO APPROVE.
1 A300B4, TRANSAER (TSD) WET-LEASED UNTIL LATE 1999-06. A320-211 (525) & A320-212 (795), SKYSERVICE (SKB) LEASED FOR SUMMER. A320-231 (424, G-CRPH), RETURNED FROM RYAN INTERNATIONAL (RYN). LEASED A320-231 (363, G-SUEE) TO (RYN). A320 (301) LEASED TO AIR BELGIUM (ABL).
JULY 1999: 1ST A330-200 (TRENT 700) WITH NEW 5 LAVATORIES MODULE IN LOWER CARGO HOLD. A320 (V2500) (362) LEASED TO RYAN INTERNATIONAL (RYN) FOR 1 YEAR. 1 A320 (V2500) (338), EX-TRANSMERIDIAN (TAL), ORIX (OXA) LEASED.
AUGUST 1999: DECIDED TO LET ITS BID FOR FIRST CHOICE (ATZ) TO LAPSE. IT WOULD HAVE MADE AIRTOURS INTERNATIONAL (GUE) THE LARGEST INCLUSIVE TOUR OPERATOR IN THE WORLD, A POSITION CURRENTLY HELD BY BRITANNIA AIRWAYS (BRI).
REGULATORY AUTHORITY (CAA) DENIES 180 MINUTES (ETOPS) APPROVAL FOR A330-200'S.
2 ORDERS (2000-05) A321'S (CFM56-5B), (GEH) LEASED.
SEPTEMBER 1999: EUROPEAN COMMISSION (EC) REJECTS AIRTOURS INTERNATIONAL (GUE) TAKEOVER BID FOR "FIRST CHOICE" (ATZ).
OCTOBER 1999: 1 ORDER (1999-12) 757-200 (RB211-535E4) (22612), EX-BRITANNIA AIRWAYS (BRI), CIT GROUP (TCI) LEASED.
NOVEMBER 1999: PLACES BID FOR "DEUTSCHES REISEBURO," A TOUR OPERATOR OWNED BY GERMAN RAILWAYS.
DECEMBER 1999: A320-212 (389, G-OZBB), MONARCH (MON) LEASED. A330-243 (309, G-CSJS) DELIVERED & LEASED TO PREMIAIR (PRH).
JANUARY 2000: 1 A320-200 (V2500) (449) EX-VIRGIN EXPRESS (EBA), ORIX LEASED IN 2000-04. 3 A320-231'S (V2500) (429; 437; 476), EX-TRANSAER (TSD) LEASED IN 2000-03, TO "FLY FTI" (FTZ).
FEBRUARY 2000: MAKES UKL240.4 MILLION BID FOR US TRAVEL COMPANY, TRAVEL SERVICES INTERNATIONAL.
EVALUATING USE OF FORMER (RAF) BASE, FILLINGLEY, NEAR DONCASTER, FOR COMMERCIAL SERVICES.
A320-231 (424) LEASED TO RYAN INTERNATIONAL (RYN).
MARCH 2000: FLS AEROSPACE (ATD) 5-YEAR COMPONENT SUPPORT FOR 5 757'S. AIRTOURS INTERNATIONAL (GUE) & (ATD) OPEN MAINTENANCE CONTROL CENTER AT MANCHESTER.
1 A320 (V2500-A1) EX-VIRGIN ATLANTIC AIRWAYS (VAA), & 1 A320 (CFM56-5A3), EX-SKYSERVICE (SKB).
APRIL 2000: 1,550 EMPLOYEES (INCLUDING 1,263 FLIGHT CREW (FC), & 14 MAINTENANCE TECHNICIANS (MT)).
PARENT COMPANY IS BLUE SEA INVESTMENTS.
JUNE 2000: 2 A321'S (CFM56-5B3/P) (1238), GECAS (GEH) 7 YEAR LEASED, (1250, G-NIKO). A320-211 (363, G-SUEE) RETURNED FROM RYAN INTERNATIONAL (RYN).
JULY 2000: PARENT AIRTOURS, COMPLETELY ACQUIRES GERMAN TOUR OPERATOR, FROSCH TOURISTIK FOR $38.5 MILLION.
1999 = -$64.8 MILLION (-$31.04 MILLION): 16.27 BILLION (RPK) TRAFFIC; 43.6 MILLION (FTK) FREIGHT TRAFFIC (-6.2%); 5.53 MILLION PASSENGERS (PAX) (-.9%); 1,550 EMPLOYEES.
A330-343X (349, OY-VKG), LEASED TO PREMIAIR (PRH).
AUGUST 2000: IN APRIL 2001, BIRMINGHAM - PUERTO PLATA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.
1 DC-10-10 (47832, G-TAOS), PREMIAIR (PRH) LEASED. DC-10-10 (46646) RETURNED FROM (PRH).
SEPTEMBER 2000: 1 A330-242X (357, OY-VKI) DELIVERY, LEASED TO PREMIAIR (PRH).
OCTOBER 2000: 1 A330-300 (PW4168) (095, C-FBUD), SKYSERVICE (SKB) LEASED, UNTIL APRIL 2001. 1 A320-212 (349, G-DACR) RETURNED FROM AIR BELGIUM (ABL), LEASED TO (SKB). DC-10-10 (CF6-6D1A) (46983, G-TDTW), RETURNED FROM PREMIAIR (PRH).
NOVEMBER 2000: 1 A320-231 (429, G-BYTH), RETURNED FROM FLY FTI (FTZ).
DECEMBER 2000: TIM BRYNE, MANAGING DIRECTOR & (CEO), REPLACES DAVID CROSSLAND, NOW EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN.
JANUARY 2001: 1 A330-322 (095, C-FBUS), WET-LEASED TO GARUDA INDONESIA (GIA) FOR HADJ, UNTIL END OF 2001-04.
MARCH 2001: 8 ORDERS (2002-12) A320'S (CFM56), AND 13 ORDERS (2002-12) A321'S (CFM56), TO REPLACE OLDER A320'S, AND 1 757-200, WHOSE LEASE IS ABOUT TO EXPIRE. SOME OF THE AIRPLANES WILL BE ASSIGNED TO PREMIAIR (PRH).
AUGUST 2001: 2 A320-231'S (338; 444) RETURNED FROM FLY FTI (FTZ).
SEPTEMBER 2001: DAVE BETTS, MANAGING DIRECTOR OPERATIONS & ENGINEERING. RUSS JONES, QUALITY MANAGER.
OCTOBER 2001: PLANNING TO CHANGE ITS NAME FROM "AIRTOURS INTERNATIONAL AIRWAYS" TO "MYTRAVEL AIRWAYS," INCLUDING PREMIAIR (PRH), WITH ORANGE COLOR SCHEME.
DECEMBER 2001: 2 A320-231'S (429, G-BYTH; 437) WET-LEASED TO SKYSERVICE (SKB).
JANUARY 2002: 2 ORDERS (2003-02) A32O'S, & 4 ORDERS A321'S, BOULLIOUN (BOU) LEASED. CONSOLIDATES UK AIRLINE ARM, "AIRTOURS INTERNATIONAL" WITH SCANDINAVIAN PREMIAIR (PRH) INTO A SINGLE FLEET WITH A NEW BRAND IDENTITY "MYTRAVEL AIRWAYS." TOTAL FLEET IS >50 AIRPLANES WITH +20 A320/A321'S ON ORDER, TO REPLACE AIRPLANES WITH LEASES THAT WILL EXPIRE BY 2004.
MARCH 2002: 1,870 EMPLOYEES. SITA: MANMMVZ.
APRIL 2002: SITA: MANOOVZ.
MAIN BASE: MANCHESTER AIRPORT (MAN).
HUBS: BIRMINGHAM INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (BHX); LEEDS/BRADFORD INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (LBA); LONDON GATWICK AIRPORT (LGW); LONDON STANSTED AI8RPORT (STN); LONDON LUTON AIRPORT (LTN); GLASGOW INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (GLA); NEWCASTLE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (NCL); CARDIFF INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (CWL); EAST MIDLANDS AI8RPORT (EMA); BELFAST CITY AIRPORT (BHD); AND BRISTOL INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (BRS).
1 ORDER 757-23A (RB211-535E4) (24528) TOMBO (TOM) LEASED.
May 2002: Fiscal Year (FY) 1st 6 months pre-tax = -157 Million Pounds (-97.6 Million). Projects FY 2001 = +120 Million Pounds.
1 A320-214 (1780, OY-VKL), (ILF) leased, Skyservice (SKB), wet-leased to MyTravel of Denmark (PRH).
June 2002: Tim Jeans, Managing Director, My Travel Group, ex-Ryanair (RYR).
July 2002: Will start a scheduled budget airline "no-frills" in 2002-10, separate from its mainline charter division, called "My Travel Lite." To operate 2 A320-200's, to be based at a "major UK airport."
Forms MYTRAVEL AIRCRAFT ENGINEERING from MyTravel Airways (GUE) and FLS Aerospace (ATD), to provide light/line maintenance at Manchester for (GUE) 757/DC-10/A320/A321/A330 airplanes. (ATD) provides heavy maintenance for (GUE) A320's.
August 2002: In 2002-10, MyTravel Light (GUE), Birmingham - Beauvais/Malaga and in 2002-11, Birmingham to Alicante, Belfast, and Geneva. Plans to add service from Prestwick. Will use 2 A320'S, (GUE) wet-leased.
September 2002: 757-236 (25054, G-OOOK), Babcock (BBB) leased. A330-322 (095) Skyservice (SKB) wet-leased again.
October 2002: 757-23A (24528, G-CCMY), wet-leased to Daallo Airlines (DAO).
November 2002: Peter McHugh, (CEO).
A320-231 (429, G-BYTH) returned from Skyservice (SKB). A320-231 (437) to (SKB).
December 2002: In 2003-02, My Travel Lite, Birmingham to Amsterdam (6/wk). In 2003-03, Birmingham to Barcelona, Knock, Murcia, and Pisa (daily). In 2003-04, Birmingham to Palm de Mallorca, and Rimini (daily).
A320-212 (299, G-JDFW) returned from MyTravel Denmark (PRH).
January 2003: 3 767-31KER's (27205; 27206; 28865), wet-leased to Garuda (GIA) for the Hadj. A320-212 (349, OY-CNR) & A330-243 (309, OY-VKF), leased to MyTravel Denmark (PRH).
February 2003: A321-211 (1887, G-CTLA), Boullioun (BOU) leased.
March 2003: A320-231 (168, G-TMDP), returned to LOKI leasing. A320-231 (362, G-YJBM) returned to Boullioun (BOU).
April 2003: MyTravel Group to axe -2,000 jobs by 2004 and sell off non-core activities to compensate for a severe fall-off in business, triggered by uncertainties related to the Iraq war. An initial spinoff involved financial services unit, Travelex. The job reductions come on top of -700 cuts that were revealed earlier in the year.
2 A320-200's (1942; 1954), GECAS (GEF) leased. A320-214 (1965, G-DHJZ) & A321-211 (1960, G-EPFA) deliveries. A330-243 (301) reregistered (G-MOJO).
May 2003: 2 A320-214's (1972, G-SMTJ (BOU) leased; 2003, G-KKAZ) deliveries.
June 2003: A320-212 (299, G-JDFW), returned to Debis AirFinance (DEA).
July 2003: MyTravelLite, in 2003-11, Manchester - /Gatwick - Tenerife, Canary Islands/ - Murcia, Spain (A320). Birmingham - Almeria/Tenerife Sur (daily).
August 2003: Ne4xt month, Birmingham - Dublin (2/day).
A330-300 (C-FBUS), Skyservice (SKB) wet-leased 2003-11 to 2004-04.
September 2003: MyTravelLite, Birmingham -Dublin.
2002 = 21.90 Billion (RPK) TRAFFIC (+1.8%); +2% (ASK) CAPACITY; 91.8% LF (LOAD FACTOR) (-.2); 38 Million (FTK) FREIGHT TRAFFIC (-17.9%).
2002 TOP WORLD AIRLINES TRAFFIC RPK (Billion):
27 (CHI) 26.81; 28 (VAR) 26.12; 29 (BEJ) 24.00; 30 (SAS) 23.21; 31 (CSR) 22.37; 32 (GUE) 21.90; 33 (ANZ) 21.48; 34 (SAA) 21.28; 35 (ASA) 21.23; 36 (SVA) 20.80; 37 (AAT) 19.93.
To wet-lease 3 767-300ER's, & 3 A330-200's to Garuda (GIA) for the Hadj from 2003-11 to 2004-03. A320-231 (429, G-BYTH) transferred to MyTravel Lite.
October 2003: Parent, MyTravel group is selling its USA cruise businesses (CruisesOnly, CruiseOne, Cruises Inc, Ship n' Shore, and Landry & Kling) to the National Leisure Group for 65.9 Million P/$110 Million in cash, as well as its unprofitable USA tour operators, SunTrips and Vacation Express, to (FS) Tours for 9.9 Million P/$16.6 Million in cash over 7 years.
November 2003: Manchester - London - Banjul (757/A330, weekly).
757-21K (28674) wet-leased to Skyservice (SKB).
December 2003: Philip Jansen (CEO) MyTravel UK & Ireland, replaces Duncan Wilson, who resigned.
In 2004-05, Manchester - Toronto (charter, 3/week), for tour operator Canadian Affair.
A320-212's (294; 301; 349) returned to GPAA Funding (GUE), 294; 349; leased to Hemus Air (HMS), & wet-leased to Balkan Holidays (BGH), 301 leased to Nouvelair (NOU).
February 2004: Plans to dry-lease an A330-200 from its Danish affiliate (PRH) 2004-05 to 2004-11, and wet-lease 3 A320-231's (338; 437; 476) from SkyService (SKB) for the same period.
747-200B (21938, EC-IPN), Air Plus Comet (APZ) short-term leased, for 4 flights Manchester - Calgary.
April 2004: A320-231 (429, G-BYTH) returned from Skyservice (SKB).
757-200 (OH-LBX), Finnair (FIN) wet-leased.
May 2004: MyTravel Airways (GUE) Group last 6 months pre-tax = -# 199.6 Million Pounds/-$365.6 Million (-617.9 Million P).
July 2004: 10-year contract with Lufthansa Technik (DLH) (LTK) for airframe related component services for its fleet of 27 A320's and 7 A330's.
2003 = 21.42 Billion (RPK) traffic (-2.6%); 90% LF load factor; 7.93 Million passengers (PAX) (+5.4%); 32.72 Million (FTK) (-13.2%).
September 2004: Next month, (GUE) Lite, Birmingham - Ibiza (3/week).
1 A330-300 (C-FRAV), Skyservice (SKB) leased 2004-11 to9 2005-04.
November 2004: Will dry-lease 3 A330-300's (OY-VKG; OY-VKH; OY-VKI), ex-(PRH), 2004-12 to 2005-03 to Garuda (GIA) for Hadj services. Will dry-lease 2 A330-200's to (PRH) for the same period.
Birmingham - Lanzarote (A320, weekly charter); - Las Palmas (A320, weekly charter).
MyTravel has been warned that it could be in danger of losing its license from the UK Civil Aviation Authority (UKCAA) unless bondholders agree rapidly to a 800 Pounds/$1.48 Billion debt restructuring.
757-21K (746-28674, G-WJAN) & A320-231 (429, G-BYTH), leased to Skyservice (SKB). A320-214's (1942; 1954) transferred to (PRH). A330-322 (171, C-FRAV), (SKB) wet-leased.
December 2004: 2 A320-214's (1965; 2003), leased to (SKB). A321-211 (2060, G-JOEE), returned to Boullioun (BOU).
April 2005: 2 767-31KER's (27205; 27206) leased to SkyService (SKB).
May 2005: 767-31KER (28865, G-DIMB) leased to Monarch Airlines (MON).
June 2005: MyTravel Airways (GUE) is a major UK charter airline providing worldwide holiday operations, primarily for its parent company.
(IATA) Code: VZ - 727. (ICAO) Code: MYT - (Callsign - KESTREL).
Parent organization/shareholders: MyTravel Group (100%).
Owns: MyTravelLite (100%).
Main Base: Manchester airport (MAN).
Hubs: Belfast International airport (BFS); Birminghamm International airport (HM); Bristol International airport (BRS); Cardiff International airport (CWL); Glasgow International airport (GLA); London Gatwick airport (LGW); Manchester airport (MAN); Newcastle International airport (NCL); & Nottingham East Midlands airport (EMA).
October 2005: 757-225 (22194, N757HW), sold to Honeywell (SGC) as engine testbed.
December 2005: 3 A320-214's (1961, G-SUEW; 1965, G-DHJZ; 2003, G-KKAZ), to Skyservice(SKB).
January 2006: Manchester Airports Group (MAG) selected Trapeze Networks and Telindus to implement a public and private (WLAN) solution at Manchester Airport. (MAG) said it opted for Trapeze's Mobility System, as it can provide a dual-purpose wireless network over one common infrastructure. "Traditionally, many airports have suffered from dilution of wireless services due to the presence of multiple uncontrolled wireless infrastructures that are both difficult to manage in terms of conflicting spectrums and also potentially confusing for the travelling public," said Aaron Bazler, network and infrastructure manager at (MAG).
The system enables revenue to be made from a "Workzone" instead of isolated connection spots. The public service, in association with T-Mobile, can be utilized to generate revenue anywhere in the airport; users do not need to be located in a specific part of the airport, but can access the Internet from any lounge or business within the complex.
April 2006: 767-31K (27206) & 3 A320-231's (1961; 1965; 2003), returned from SkyService (SKB). A320-231 (230), sold to Donbassaero (UDC).
May 2006: A320-231's (476; 1411), from SkyService (SKB). A330-343 (357, C-GVKI), to (SKB).
October 2006: A330-343 (357) returned from SkyService (SKB).
November 2006: 757-21K (28674, C-FFAN), and A320-231 (437, C-FTDF), leased to SkyService (SKB).
January 2007: Starting November 7th, new 1/week Manchester - Las Vegas, using A330-200s.
February 2007: UK-based MyTravel (GUE) and German tourist conglomerate, Thomas Cook (JMA) are merging in a deal that will create the 2nd-biggest travel company in Europe behind (TUI).
The new company, called Thomas Cook (JMA) Group will produce combined revenue of about €12 billion/$15.6 billion, selling holidays to some 19 million customers a year. It will be based in London.
MyTravel (GUE) shareholders will own 48% of the combined company with the controlling 52% held by Thomas Cook (JMA)'s German owner KarstadtQuelle, which agreed in December to buy Lufthansa (DLH)'s 50% stake in Thomas Cook (JMA) for €800 million. The merger is expected to be complete by June and is conditional on the approval of MyTravel (GUE) shareholders, competition clearances and completion of the KarstadtQuelle-(DLH) transaction.
In December, MyTravel (GUE) reported its 1st annual profit in 5 years after a major restructuring exercise, cutting costs and selling real estate. According to the MyTravel (GUE) website, the companies in the group operate 31 airplanes.
The move eventually is expected to generate "at least" -£75 million/-$146.2 million of cost savings per year, the two groups said. Specific information concerning cost synergies was not supplied, nor was the future status of the airline portfolio comprising Thomas Cook Airlines UK (JMA), Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium (TUB), Condor Airlines (CDF), MyTravel Airways UK (GUE), and MyTravel Airways A/S (PRH) detailed.
The merger ended hopes of the UK's First Choice Holidays (ATZ) for a possible tie-up. It had offered for sale its mainstream package holiday business, which includes European 787 launch customer First Choice Airways (ATZ), and held preliminary talks on possible bids with both MyTravel (GUE) and Thomas Cook (JMA). The (ATZ) board announced the termination of those talks.
MyTravel (GUE) (CEO), Peter McHugh said the combined company will not need First Choice (ATZ)'s package business to compete with (TUI) (TUG). "This merger is quite a feat unto itself," he said. "We're the 2nd leading travel company in Europe and aspire to be number 1." (TUI)( had revenue of €18.2 billion in 2005.
March 2007: The European Commission (EC) cleared KarstadtQuelle's acquisition of Lufthansa (DLH)'s 50% share in Thomas Cook (JMA). The German retailer, which already owned 50%, reached agreement with Lufthansa (DLH) to buy its stake for €800 million/$1.07 billion in December. (DLH) will raise its stake in Condor Airlines (CDF) from 10% to 24.9% as part of the deal. The (EC)'s blessing does not include the Thomas Cook (JMA)/MyTravel (GUE) merger announced last month
May 2007: Starts Liverpool - Alicante, - Arrecife, Las Palmas, - Reus, - Tenerife, using A320s; London Gatwick (LGW) - Banjul, - Olbia, Manchester - Thessaloniki, using A321s; - Samana, Dominican Republic; Manchester - Samana; both using A330-200s; (LGW) - Sanya, China, Manchester - Sanya, using 767-300s. Starting July 18th, East Midlands - Montego Bay, using 767-300s.
MyTravel (GUE)/(PRH) Group and Thomas Cook (JMA) have increased the estimated annual pre-tax cost benefits resulting from their planned merger to "at least" €140 million/$191.1 million, the companies said in a regulatory filing, compared to the original estimate of £75 million/$149.8 million. Savings will be realized within 24 to 30 months. Costs associated with integration and reorganization, including capital expenditure, will be "no more" than €185 million and will be incurred over 12 to 18 months. The new London-based Thomas Cook (JMA) Group will have annual revenues of about £8 billion. KarstadtQuelle AG, which owns Thomas Cook (JMA), will own 52% of the new company and MyTravel (GUE)/(PRH) shareholders the remainder. The European Commission (EC) will decide on or before May 4 whether to refer the merger for a more detailed investigation. The deal is expected to be complete by the end of June.
The European Commission (EC) extended its investigation into Ryanair (RYR)'s proposed acquisition of Aer Lingus (ARL) Group by another 15 working days to July 4 from June 13, itself an extension from the original deadline of May 11. The extension followed (RYR)'s submission of new commitments to address competition concerns raised by the European regulator. An (EC) spokesperson confirmed that the Low Cost Carrier (LCC) (RYR) offered extra remedies. (RYR) launched a €1.48 billion/$2.01 billion hostile takeover bid for (ARL) soon after (ARL) completed its Initial Public Offering (IPO) last September. (RYR) withdrew its bid in December, after the (EC) launched its in-depth inquiry citing "serious competition concerns" over the proposed merger of Ireland's 2 principal airlines. (RYR) said in February it hoped to renew its bid, when the probe was completed. It holds 25.2% of (ARL), just under the Irish Finance Ministry's 25.35%.
Conversely, the (EC) opted to clear the proposed merger of Thomas Cook (JMA) and MyTravel (GUE)/(PRH) Group, which will combine to form Thomas Cook (JMA)/(GUE)/(PRH) Group. The tie-up remains subject to several conditions, including approval from MyTravel (GUE)/(PRH) shareholders, court consent and the listing of (JMA)/(GUE)/(PRH)shares. Assuming they are satisfied, finalization is expected on June 19, the companies said in a statement.
Regarding the agreed-upon acquisition of First Choice (ATZ) Holidays by (TUI) (HAP)/(HLX), the (EC) expressed concern over the combined company's potential dominance in Ireland. Following last week's meeting with the Competition Case Team, First Choice (ATZ) agreed to consider specific undertakings to address that concern, including the potential sale of one of its Irish businesses. "First Choice (ATZ) and (TUI) AG (HAP)/(HLX) remain confident that the proposed merger will be cleared by the European Commission (EC)," the companies said, adding that they now expect the (EC) to announce its decision on whether to clear the proposed merger at Phase I, or extend it to a Phase II investigation on or before June 4. Both the combined (TUI) Travel (ATZ)/(HAP)/(HLX) and the Thomas Cook (JMA)/(GUE)/(PRH) Group will be headquartered in London.
December 2007: A320-231 (1965, C-FOJZ), leased to Skyservice (SKB).
April 2008: Thomas Cook Airlines (JMA)/(TCW) and MyTravel Airways (GUE)/(PRH) will operate as 1 airline under the Thomas Cook Airlines (JMA) brand.
April 2009: 2 A320-231s (1965; 2003), returned from SkyService (SKB).
June 2009: Air France Industries (AFI) said that Thomas Cook (JMA) renewed its existing (CFM56-5B) engine support contract for 16 A320s/A321s operated by Thomas Cook Airlines (UK) (JMA)/(GUE) and Thomas Cook Scandinavia AS (PRH). The contract's coverage has been extended to add 5 A320s operated by Thomas Cook Belgium (TCW).
October 2009: 2 A330-243s (254, G-MLJL; 301, G-OMYT) wet-leased to Thomas Cook Airlines (Scandinavia) (PRH).
January 2011: Turkish Technic signed an (APU) repair services contract with Thomas Cook Airlines (JMA)/(GUE), covering 1 (APS3200) model (APU) repair. Services will be carried out at Turkish Technic's (APU) shop in Istanbul.
2 757-236 (29945, G-TCBB; 29946, G-TCBC), Babcock (BBB) leased.
February 2011: Sabena Technics (SAB) won a 5-year contract from Thomas Cook Airlines (GUE)/(JMA) covering line and light maintenance of its seven A320s, as well component support and pool access.
March 2011: (IATA) Code: MT. (ICAO) Code: TCX -(Callsign - KESTREL).
July 2011: Air Lease Corporation (ALE) announced that Thomas Cook Airlines (JMA)/(GUE) signed long-term lease agreements for 6 new A321-200s powered by (CFM56) engines. 2 of the airplanes will be delivered in 2013 and 4 in spring 2014. The airplanes are part of (ALE)’s existing order book with Airbus (EDS), it said.
August 2011: The Thomas Cook (GUE)/(JMA) Group (CEO) Manny Fontenla-Novoa resigned "with immediate effect," (GUE)/(JMA) announced. Fontenla-Novoa's departure comes just weeks after the group issued a third profit warning for the current fiscal year and amid concerns about the tour operator's rising debt levels. Deputy (CEO) Sam Weihagen was appointed interim (CEO).
The group reported an operating profit for the three months ended June 30 of +£20.1 million/+$32.7 million, down from +£25.8 million in the year-ago period, mainly owing to the weak performance of its business in the UK, which is its largest market. The operating loss for the 9 months to June 30 came in at -£145.7 million, although the company said it "remains on track to meet expectations for the full year."
Full-year underlying (EBIT) is expected to reach £320 million. Its net debt at June 30 increased to £902.5 million from £789.1 million a year earlier.
"The board is focused on restoring market confidence in the group, which has been impacted by concerns over debt levels and the poor performance of our UK business. We are taking actions to strengthen the balance sheet, including a disposal program that we expect to realize up to £200 million," said Chairman, Michael Beckett. The group is planning to dispose of certain hotels as well as its stake in (NATS), the UK's air traffic services provider.
October 2011: Thomas Cook Airlines UK (JMA)/(GUE)) cabin crew (CA) members of the Unite union voted to take industrial action over (JMA)/(GUE)’s redundancy plans. The vote followed a breakdown of talks with (JMA)/(GUE)'s management over its refusal to improve redundancy terms, Unite said. (JMA)/(GUE) intends to cut -498 cabin crew (CA) positions and eliminate the rank of Assistant Cabin Manager.
In a pre-close trading update issued at the end of September, the Thomas Cook Group said it would reduce (JMA)/(GUE)’s fleet of 41 airplanes by -6 to better align capacity with demand. (JMA)/(GUE) employs 1,800 cabin crew (CA) from bases at Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, East Midlands Gatwick, Glasgow, Manchester, Newcastle, and Stansted.
The Unite union has 1,150 cabin crew (CA) members at (JMA)/(GUE).
November 2011: Thomas Cook Airlines (JMA)/(GUE) and representatives of the Unite union will hold further talks on November 9 in Manchester over plans to make its 498 cabin crew (CA) redundant. Talks were held in Manchester after the United cabin crew members voted overwhelmingly in a consultative ballot in favor of industrial action.
January 2012: Condor (CDF) has added an 11th 767-300ER leased from sister carrier, Thomas Cook Airlines (JMA)/(GUE).
(JMA)/(GUE) has returned 2 A330-200s and a 767-300ER to the lessors and is also planning to phase out 2 additional A330-200s and an A320-200 with up to -250 staff being laid off as a result of its plans to downsize its operations, partially because it has lost a contract with UK tour operator Canadian Affair to Air Transat (AIJ). It has also wet-leased 1 757-200 each to Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia (PRM) and Westjet (WJI) for the winter season.
February 2012: Construction work has started at Manchester Airport on its new 196.9 ft/60 m-high Air Traffic Control (ATC) tower. The 16 million pound facility is due for completion in spring 2013.
March 2012: Tour operator, the Thomas Cook Group has announced its selection of Rockwell Collins (stand 6B1) Paves 3 in-flight entertainment (IFE) for 71 A320s and A321s. The deal includes the Paves 3 High-Definition Media Server, 12" widescreen overhead monitors, and WiFi-enabled content applications and web pages.
"The customer expectation for (IFE) has changed and will progressively change into the future," says Bernd Bechtel Executive VP Group Fleet Management for the Thomas Cook Group.
"Society's increased information and entertainment appetite requires airlines to select innovative and flexible approaches for (IFE)," he adds. "Rockwell Collins Paves 3 (IFE) solution offers an innovative platform where our customers can view mainstream entertainment and information content overhead or via WiFi on their smart phones and tablet PCs."
A330-243 (456, G-OJMC), to SriLankan Airlines (LNK).
April 2012: Westjet (WJI) has signed a contract with tour operator Thomas Cook Canada to transport its passengers on a variety of its routes from Canada to the Caribbean and Mexico next winter. Thomas Cook (JMA)/(GUE) had previously announced to give up its own operations where it had deployed 6 757-200s operated by Jazz Air (ACN) on these routes each winter.
May 2012: A320-211 (724, YL-LCI), Smartlynx (LAJ) wet-leased to Thomas Cook Airlines (JMA)/(GUE) for the summer season. The airplane will mainly be based at Newcastle airport (NCL).
October 2012: Billund Airport (BLL) in Denmark has become the 1st airport to enable passengers to print their own baggage tags as well as boarding passes off site.
Following a six-month development and test period this spring (in collaboration with Thomas Cook Airlines (GUE)/(JMA)/(PRH)) (BLL) launched the new baggage tag, which the airport said reduces queues at baggage check-in.
The tags are printed onto a standard A4 sheet of paper, and then folded according to instructions and inserted in a plastic cover (available free of charge at the airport), which is secured to the bag. Passengers can use the dedicated Express Drop desks to check their bags in the departure area instead of queuing up at the traditional bag drop.
(BLL) VP Project & Development Anders Nielsen said: “Around 15% of our charter passengers have used the system since it was launched, and we want to get that figure up to 35% to 40% in the future. No problems have been reported for printing the tags,” he said.
Denmark’s 2nd largest airport, (BLL), developed the new service in collaboration with the airport’s software provider, Unisys, and (IATA) (ITA). (BLL) also acts as a handling agent, with its own check-in software. Nielsen said there is “considerable interest” from other airport operators around the world “in how the system has been designed.”
February 2013: The Thomas Cook Group has detailed plans to bring together its Belgian, German and UK airlines under a new structure and leadership team.
German carrier Condor (CDF), Thomas Cook Airlines (GUE)/(JMA) in the UK and Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium (TCW) will be brought together as one “airline segment” from March 1. The Thomas Cook Group describes the move as “an important step” in its airline strategy, aimed at increasing efficiency within the group.
The airline segment will be led by a new Group Airline Management Board, chaired jointly by group head of air travel, Christoph Debus and Condor (CDF) (CEO) Ralf Teckentrup. Other board members will comprise Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia (PRH) (CEO), Torben Ostergaard Head of Group Maintenance, Paul Horstink, and Thomas Cook Group Procurement Director Nikolaus Kirner.
Thomas Cook Airlines UK (GUE)/(JMA) Managing Director Frank Pullman will retire March 1. On the same day, Cor Vrieswijk will join Thomas Cook Airlines UK (GUE)/(JMA) as (COO). Vrieswijk, whose previous roles include easyJet (EZY) (COO) and interim (CEO) of Air Malta (MLT), will coordinate and oversee all operational activities across Thomas Cook Airlines as part of his wider remit.
“As we strive to meet the needs of our customers by offering greater flexibility, better choice, high-touch service, on-time performance and real value, at a time when the European airline industry is experiencing major change, we believe that our airline will be stronger as one integrated business,” Debus said.
However, Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia (PRH) will not come under the new structure. “Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia (PRH), which currently operates a different business model, will work closely with the new Group airline, coordinating across all functional areas, while exploring ways to integrate more fully in the medium term,” the group said in a statement.
Over recent years, the group has cut capacity and sought to cut its headcount in a bid to remain competitive.
April 2013: SEE ATTACHED "AIRWORLD NEWS" MAGAZINE UPDATE - - "GUE-2013-05 - UPDATE."
The Thomas Cook Group (which detailed plans in February to reorganize its Belgian, German and UK airlines) has announced it will merge Frankfurt-based Condor Flugdienst GmbH (CDF) and its wholly owned subsidiary, Condor Berlin.
May 2013: 75th anniversary of Manchester Airport. SEE ATTACHED "AIRLINER WORLD" MAGAZINE FEATURE - - "GUE-MAN AIRPORT 75 YRS - 2013-05-A/B/C/D/E/F/G/H."
Tour operator, the Thomas Cook Group (GUE)/(JMC) has struck a deal to lease 9 A321-200s from (GE) Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), including 6 airplanes it was previously taking directly from Airbus.
August 2013: The Thomas Cook Airlines Group (GUE)/(JMA) is planning to establish a 2nd hub in Manchester and will base a 3rd A330-200 starting from the winter season.
Thomas Cook Airlines (GUE)/(JMA) will operate to 8 new destinations from London Stansted next year, and increase the number of airplanes it has based at the airport from 1 to 2. The UK-based tour operator says it will replace its Stansted-based A320 with 2 new A321s in June 2014 and launch new services to Corfu, Fuerteventura, Heraklion, Izmir, Kefalonia, Kos, Rhodes, and Skiathos. It will also increase frequencies to other destinations.
The new routes will bring the number of destinations Thomas Cook (GUE)/(JMA) serves from Stansted to 18.
October 2013: All airplanes in the Thomas Cook Group: Thomas Cook Airlines (GUE)/(JMA); Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium (TCW); Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia (PRH), and Condor Airlines (CDF) will soon feature a new logo and livery under its ‘sunny heart’ brand. The new look features a yellow heart and is part of the group’s transformation plan, the company said.
SEE ATTACHED - - "GUE-2013-10 - SUNNY HEART BRAND."
The new ‘sunny heart’ brand will be featured across most of the company’s brands and market activities, including Neckermann in Europe, Ving in Sweden, Condor (CDF) in Germany and Airtours in the UK.
Thomas Cook said that “the intention isn’t to rebrand all with the sunny heart, but they form part of the group architecture and will, in most cases, carry the heart as some part of their logo”.
Harriet Green Group (CEO) of the Thomas Cook Group said: “This isn’t just a rollout of a new logo, it’s about a promise. What we’re announcing today is a renewed promise to our customers, our people and suppliers. A promise that we’re putting them at the heart of our transformation it’s the essence of who we are.” She added: “The heart will appear on the web, in brochures, in and on our airplanes, in our concept hotels, our other hotels, and in our stores: in short, everywhere that our customers connect with us.”
UK tour operator Thomas Cook has reshuffled a number of senior executive positions at its airline group: Condor (CDF) Managing Director Ulrich Johannwille has been appointed Group Financial Director. However, he will also retain his existing role at the helm of (CDF). His position on the airline group’s management board has been newly created, with the Finance Directors of the airline subsidiaries in Belgium, Germany, Scandinavia and UK reporting to Johannwille.
Christian Schmitt Condor (CDF)’s Head of Ground Operations, has been promoted to the group’s Director of Operations, where he will report to Cor Vrieswijk Head of Operations.
Meanwhile, Uwe Klenovsky will succeed Wolfgang John as Chief Commercial Officer at Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium (TCW), effective November 1st 2013.
November 2013: Thomas Cook Airlines (JMA)/(GUE) added 2 further points to its long-haul network from Manchester (MAN) on November 10th, commencing services to both Barbados (BGI) and St Lucia (UVF). The A330-operated weekly route (Sundays) stops initially in St Lucia, before taking the 20-minute hop over to Barbados. The latter destination will be increased to 2x-weekly on December 19th when (JMA)/(GUE) starts another weekly flight, this time via Antigua. Competition comes from Thomson Airways (ATZ)/(TFY) (3x-weekly) and Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA) (weekly) on Barbados, with no competition to St Lucia.
April 2014: Thomas Cook Airlines (JMA)/(GUE) has shifted its Orlando service from Sandford Airport (SFB) to Orlando International Airport (MCO), where it flies from Manchester and Glasgow.
Aigle Azur (AZU) airplane (1006, F-HBAF) will be transferred to Thomas Cook Airlines UK ((IATA) Code: MT, based at Manchester International) (JMA)/(GUE) where it will become (G-TCDZ).
May 2014: Thomas Cook Airlines UK (JMA)/(GUE) has announced that, for the duration of Summer 2015, it will operate flights from London Stansted to Orlando International, Cancún, and Las Vegas McCarran, becoming the only airline to operate long-haul flights from the airport.
Using an A330-200, the flights will begin on July 17, with 2x-weekly to Orlando and weekly to both Cancun and Las Vegas, and continue up until August 17, 2015.
Thomas Cook (JMA)/(GUE) currently offers extensive charter flights to Spain, Turkey, Greece, and Tunisia from Stansted. (JMA)/(GUE) will also introduce new transatlantic routes from Glasgow International to Las Vegas and from Manchester International to New York (JFK) and Miami International next summer season.
Airbus ProSky, (AENA), Thomas Cook (GUE)/(JMA), Novair (NOO) and Norwegian Airlines (NWG) have successfully flight tested a new (RNP AR) approach to Runway 21 in Lanzarote in the Canary Islands.
Since November 2012, in the scope of the (SESAR) Atlantic Interoperability Initiative (AIRE), Airbus Prosky and industry consortium comprising (AENA), Air Berlin (BER), EasyJet (EZY) and Thomas Cook Airlines (GUE)/(JMA) have worked with the Spanish Civil Aviation Authorities (DGAC), to design new procedures at La Palma and Lanzarote airports. The objective of the project has been to implement environmentally friendly approaches that result in track-mile savings, reductions in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Additionally, this project allows the replacement of Lanzarote Runway 21 circle to land procedure by a fully managed and stabilized approach.
In close coordination with local Air Traffic Control (ATC), the 1st (RNP AR) flight trial was performed by consortium operator Thomas Cook Airlines (GUE)/(JMA) on Runway 21 of Lanzarote Airport. According to a (GUE)/(JMA) captain (FC), “[The trial] was just like the simulator; very accurate track keeping.” A captain from Novair (NOO), performing the trial in an Airbus A321 said: “There was 20-30 kts crosswind, but the flight guidance took the A321 very accurately to 50 ft over the threshold as expected. It was a normal operation."
An air traffic controller from the approach center in the Canarias commented: “I watched directly on the radar screen and the descent was perfect, continuous, without steps until touchdown. It was great! Air traffic controllers are really amazed when they experience their 1st live trial, seeing the final curved leg, the accuracy overflying the line, the low level of communications needed, etc. Congratulations.”
Paul-Franck Bijou (CEO) of Airbus Prosky added: “The 1st flight trial was a full success, with (AENA) members and flight crew (FC) appreciating the approach as a major step towards Performance Based Navigation (PBN) in Spain, that provides higher accessibility and efficiency for Lanzarote airport, while being environmentally friendly and supporting flight safety, by providing highly stabilized approaches.”
Within the context of the "CANARIAS" project, a total 100 trials will be performed up until August 2014, in order to demonstrate daily improvements in airspace operations, airport access and noise emission reduction. The flight trials phase will ease the procedure publication by (AENA) and will pave the way for more (PBN) procedures to be published at various Spanish airports.
August 2014: UK air navigation services provider (NATS) has signed an agreement with the Manchester Airports Group (MAG) confirming a 10-year contract to provide air traffic control (ATC) and Engineering services at both Manchester and London Stansted airports. The new contract will begin April 1, 2015.
(NATS) Director of Operations - Airports Mike Stoller said: “Both airports have ambitious growth goals, and we will work closely with (MAG) to ensure that increased air traffic movements and passenger numbers can be successfully realized.”
In 2013, (MAG) opened a new £20 million/$33.2 million control tower (the 2nd largest in the UK) at Manchester Airport, following the £25 million refurbishment of Manchester’s northern runway.
Manchester is the UK’s 3rd largest airport, handling >21 million passengers annually, and London Stansted is the 4th largest, handling >18 million passengers a year.
November 2014: The Thomas Cook Group has announced an agreement with Amadeus, becoming the first leisure carriers to adopt the Amadeus Altéa solutions. Four of Thomas Cook group airlines based in Germany, the UK, Scandinavia and Belgium have adopted Amadeus’ Altéa suite as a single platform to manage reservations, inventory and departure control.
January 2015: News Item A-1: Brussels Airlines (DAT)/(EBA) this year will operate 824 charter flights for leisure specialist Thomas Cook (JMA)/(GUE), up +26% year-over-year, as the two companies strengthen their strategic ties.
(DAT)/(EBA) and (JMA)/(GUE) began cooperating in 2002 and last year Brussels Airlines (DAT)/(EBA) operated 654 flights for the holiday group. This is set to increase +26% in 2015. “This year the partnership will have an even more strategic character,” (DAT)/(EBA) said.
Thomas Cook (JMA)/(GUE) will also use (DAT)/(EBA) scheduled flights for additional lift, as well as the charter services. “Next to our own airplane fleet, (JMA)/(GUE) will use Brussels Airlines (DAT)/(EBA) more than ever to get travelers to holiday destinations in the Mediterranean,” Thomas Cook (JMA)/(GUE) (CCO), Jan Dekeyser said.
Brussels Airlines (DAT)/(EBA) will add 11 new destinations this summer, including the holiday island of Ibiza. This will join its scheduled short-haul leisure destinations, which include Catania, Seville, Alicante, Barcelona, Faro, Malaga, Lourdes, Olbia, Naples, and Palermo.
News Item A-2: A330-343X (357, OY-VKI), sub-leased from Thomas cook Airlines Scandinavia (PRH).
February 2015: News Item A-1: British holiday company, the Thomas Cook Group (JMA)/(GUE) is seeking to sell its airline business as part of a cost-saving plan, the "Sunday Times" newspaper reported.
The world's oldest travel group has sounded out a number of potential buyers over the last few months, including rival carriers and private equity investors, but no deal has yet been reached and no talks are currently under way.
(JMA)/(GUE) said it was pleased with the development of its airline operation. "We see it as an important part of our business and a support of our profitable growth strategy. Of course, we are always open for opportunities," it said.
This month, Thomas Cook (JMA)/(GUE), which has a new (CEO) after Harriet Green stepped down in a surprise announcement in November, said it remained on course to grow this year, despite tough trading conditions in Europe.
Later, on February 23rd, Thomas Cook Airlines UK (JMA)/(GUE), the Thomas Cook Group, played down a report in the "Sunday Times" claiming it is considering selling off its quartet of carriers. The leisure group said that while it is pleased with the development and integration of its carriers, which include Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium (TCW), Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia (PRH), and Condor (CDF), it would consider partnering other firms or airlines.
"We are very pleased with the development of our airlines and the integration our 4 airlines have achieved so far. Our Group Airlines have contributed >GBP100 million/>USD154 million of synergies to our overall cost savings and they are working closer together than ever," Thomas Cook Group said. "We have also invested in the refurbishment of the cabins of our long-haul fleet and we have added long-haul airplanes to our Condor (CDF) fleet in Germany and the UK. This shows that we see our airlines as an important part of our business and a support of our profitable growth strategy."
The "Sunday Times" claimed former (CEO) Harriet Green had 1st proposed the divestiture, with the Group approaching a number of potential buyers, including rival carriers as well as private equity investors. A possible tie-up with rival Monarch Airlines (MON) has also been studied, though to date, none of the parties has so far shown any commitment.
Collectively, the legacy leisure charter specialists are facing tough times with increased competition on the domestic and regional fronts from the likes of Ryanair (RYR), Norwegian (NWG) and easyJet (EZY).
Monarch (MON) was last year bought out by Greybull Capital LLP, an investment firm which acquired control of (MON)'s shareholding from its founders, the Swiss-Italian Mantegazza family. A part of its new business plan, Monarch (MON) will transition into a "premium budget carrier" while ending all long-haul and charter flights by April this year. In the long term, it will focus on its five UK airport bases (London Gatwick, Manchester International, Birmingham International, London Luton and Leeds/Bradford). Its East Midlands operations will end later this summer.
Earlier this month, rival firm (TUI) (TUG) was reported to be pushing for a consolidation among its carriers which include TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) (Germany), TUIfly Nordic (TNS), Arke Fly (HOL), and Jetairfly (TUB). The German firm reportedly plans to use Thomson Airways (ATZ)/(TFY), its largest airline, to anchor the project. Loss-making Corsair International (COR) has been omitted from the plan, owing to its impending sale to Air Caraïbes (GUP) parent, Groupe Dubreuil.
News Item A-2: A321-211 (1881, G-TCDY), ex-(OY-VKA), leased from Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia (PRH).
July 2015: News Item A-1: News Item A-1: Thomas Cook Airlines (GUE)/(JMA) started 3 seasonal services from London Stansted (STN) to North America. On July 17, it began 2x-weekly operations (Fridays and Sundays) to Orlando (MCO), on July 18 weekly services (Saturdays) to Cancún (CUN), and finally on July 20 weekly (Mondays) services to Las Vegas (LAS). All services, which will operate in just July and August, are flown by (GUE)/(JMA)’s 321-seat, A330-200s and none of the routes face any direct competition. Christoph Debus (CEO) of Thomas Cook Airlines (GUE)/(JMA), said: “This weekend is huge for us as we deliver on our promise to provide great quality flights at superb prices to iconic USA destinations. We’re also doubling our departures to Orlando next summer to 4x-weekly, making Stansted a great partner for us to offer the best experience to our customers.”
News Item A-2: "Twin Flight Attendants (CA) Fool Passengers, and Even Their Own Boyfriends" by News.com.au July 15, 2015.
Being a passenger on board with these two sisters can be a confusing experience (see attached "GUE -Twin Cabin Attendants - 2015-07.jpg.") The stunning, twin flight attendants (CA) both live and work together, and even their boyfriends struggle to tell them apart.
Laura and Anna Perry, 20, from Birmingham in the UK, rarely leave each other's side and try to work as many shifts as possible in each other's company. While working, the twin sisters wear matching Thomas Cook (GUE)/(JMA) uniforms, which no doubt confuses passengers on board (and when they're at home they still like to dress the same, confusing their boyfriends, Lewis, 22, and Mike, 26).
"We have always done everything together, and we're used to confusing people," Anna said. "Our boyfriends took a while to get used to telling us apart, and they still confuse us sometimes. And holiday makers really struggle to know which of us they've spoken to."
After being born just a minute apart, the girls have barely spent a moment away from each other. As children, their mother dressed them the same and they shared the same group of friends at the same schools. After leaving school at 16, they went on to study travel and tourism together at college, and then promptly got matching jobs on the front desk of a hotel.
But their dream was always to work as flight attendants (CA) together, and their wish was finally granted when a hotel customer turned out to be a recruiter.
Anna, the eldest, explained: "I was on reception, and I was helping a customer who had to wait for his room for a few minutes." "Then I went on my break and Laura took over. But the customer came back, not realizing that we'd switched and started asking lots of questions.
"Laura didn't have a clue what he was talking about and kept having to explain that she definitely hadn't spoken to him, but she'd be able to sort the issue out anyway."
"We didn't realize at 1st but he worked for Thomas Cook (GUE)/(JMA) and he was so impressed with our service, and that there were 2 of us, that he invited us to apply for the cabin crew (CA) scheme."
Since joining (GUE)/(JMA) last year, the pair have tried to work as many shifts together as possible and when it came to organizing the roster for the summer, they pledged to work every flight together.
And it's not just at work that their lives are in synch (the pair live together at home with their parents and barely do anything apart}. Their morning routine means they do their hair and make-up side by side and arrive to their base at Birmingham Airport together.
Laura's boyfriend, Lewis, who also works at the airport, said: "At first, it was really hard to tell them apart, and they always played little tricks on me, which were a bit mean." "One time, when we'd only just started dating, I called round to take Laura out for dinner and Anna answered the door (I genuinely thought it was Laura. I just could not tell them apart). Once you get to know them it does get a bit easier (I still struggle sometimes though."
"We went to a water park in Florida and I saw one of them swimming underwater (I thought it was Laura, but they were wearing the same bikinis. I went to grab her underwater but I realised it was Anna just in time. It's just like 'Oops, wrong twin, sorry.' "Laura does sometimes get a bit annoyed with me, but I think they find it hilarious really (I'm always getting in trouble). I'm like 'come on guys, give me a break, you're identical. They're so close, they're inseparable (and they often wear the same clothing which makes it even harder). Even now, sometimes from behind I genuinely can't tell which ones which."
December 2015: The Thomas Cook Group (JMA)/(GUE) is considering teaming up with Deutsche Lufthansa (DLH) as (DLH) expands its Eurowings (EWG) discount operation into long-haul flights.
January 2016: Boeing Shanghai Aviation Services signed a maintenance agreement with Thomas Cook Airlines (GUE)/(JMA) for Boeing 767 fleet maintenance. With this contract, Boeing Shanghai has expanded its airplane maintenance services to the UK.
April 2016: Thomas Cook Group Airlines chose MedAire’s MedLink medical advice and assistance service. The service will provide round-the-clock service to the Group’s airlines including Thomas Cook Airlines UK (GUE)/(JMA), Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium (TCW), Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia (PRH) and Condor Flugdienst (CDF). The Group has used MedAire’s aviation security program since June 2015.
May 2016: 757-21K (28674, G-WJAN) ferried Prestwick to Xiamen, China for conversion to freighter. A321-211 re-registered from (G-TCDJ) to (G-OMYT). A330-243 (301, G-OMYT) returned from Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia (PRH) - (309) sub-leased from (PRH) from (OY-VKF) to (G-CSJS).
November 2016: "INCDT: A Thomas Cook A321-211 (CFM56-5B3/P) (G-TCDK) Bound for London Makes Emergency Landing After Colliding with 50 Storks" by Paul Harper, "The Sun" November 12, 2016.
A Thomas Cook A321-211 packed packed with passengers was forced to make an emergency landing after smashing into a flock of around 50 storks. This terrifying mid-air collision damaged the engines and landing gear of the 170Y-passenger Airbus A321-211 (G-TCDK) heading to London. The aircraft had just taken off from Banjul airport in Gambia on November 8.
Cook flight attendant (CA) Kayleigh Loveridge writing on Facebook said: "We took off, and on our climb we went through a flock of approximately 50 storks, causing a bird strike to both engines."
"Both engines were damaged and not functioning in the way they should have." "We heard big bangs, felt the entire aircraft shake, shortly followed by one of our emergency commands from the flight deck."
Miss Loveridge uploaded images of the blood-splattered plane after the bird strike. A spokesman for Thomas Cook (GUE)/(JMA) told the "Evening Standard:" "The pilots (FC) and cabin crew (CA) responded extremely professionally according to their training and the aircraft returned safely to Banjul."
The customers were accommodated overnight in Banjul and flown home on a different plane the following morning, while the damaged aircraft was repaired and arrived back later. Thomas Cook stated "We apologize for the unavoidable delay to their return journey."
February 2017: 757-330 (29012, G-JMOE), ex-(D-ABOE) ferried Hahn to Gatwick. 767-31KER (27205, G-TCCA) returned to Altavair AirFinance after lease, registration canceled.
March 2017: 757-330 (29013, G-JMOf), ex-(D-ABOE) ferried Hahn to Manchester.
April 2017: Thomas Cook Airlines (JMA)/(GUE) announced a new direct flight from San Francisco to Manchester beginning on May 14th.
It's the 7th direct USA connection to Manchester and the 4th in 3 years with connections to 24 of Europe's most popular destinations.
(JMA)/(GUE) leisure airlines, part of the Thomas Cook Group Airlines, also announced its new summer schedule from 7 gateways in the USA. All flights are operated with an Airbus A330-200 aircraft. The new, expanded USA route network represents (JMA)/(GUE)'s continued strategy to expand its successful long-haul offering and become the preferred carrier from the U.S. to the North of England. (JMA)/(GUE) also offers easy connections in Manchester to >20 cities throughout Europe.
"This is an exciting time for Thomas Cook Group Airlines as we grow our USA footprint with expanded service from gateways across the country," said Christoph Debus Chief Airlines Officer, the Thomas Cook Group. "We work closely with partner airlines, allowing us to connect to 90 destinations within the USA, as well as to fantastic European cities like Paris, Amsterdam and Milan, allowing us to offer more destinations than ever before."
Thomas Cook Group Airlines has seen a surge in flights and holidays to and from North America. Passenger numbers from North America to Europe have more than doubled during the past 3 years.
(JMA)/(GUE), The UK-based carriers currently serve the USA from Boston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and Orlando.
May 2017: Thomas Cook Airlines (GUE)/(JMA) launched its inaugural San Francisco (SFO) flight from Manchester (MAN) on May 14, confirming its position as the biggest carrier to the USA from the UK airport. Thomas Cook (GUE)/(JMA)’s Chief Airlines & Hotels Officer Christoph Debus, said: “This is such an amazing day for our customers and our airline. Our direct USA flights are so great for customer, offering more amazing destinations than any other carrier from Manchester. We are the largest long-haul carrier from Manchester.”
Manchester is the only UK airport outside of London to offer direct services to San Francisco and gives 26.5 million annual passengers easy access to the West Coast of the USA. Furthermore, it showcases the role Manchester Airport plays in UK aviation, offering passengers in our catchment area easy, direct options from their local airport. 2x-weekly flights (Sundays and Thursdays) to San Francisco are operated by (GUE)/(JMA)’s A330-200s, and face competition from Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA)’s 3x-weekly service.
August 2017: Pilots (FC) at UK leisure carrier Thomas Cook Airlines (GUE)/(JMA) are to strike for 12 hours on September 8 over a pay dispute. (GUE)/(JMA) said it expects to operate all services as normal.
The British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) authorized the strike following a ballot in which 91% of pilots (FC) voted to take action; turnout was 88%.
(BALPA) said the decision to take strike action (which will last from 3 am to 3 pm (BST)) followed nearly 8 months of negotiations over a pay raise that had been due in April. It said (GUE)/(JMA) had offered a +1.5% raise, while it had asked for a pay increase that at least matched UK inflation (currently around 2.5%) plus an amount to catch up with comparable airlines and ancillary benefits.
2 days of talks have taken place at the UK industrial arbitration service (ACAS), without progress. “Disrupting people’s travel plans is the last thing pilots (FC) want to do and we very much regret taking this step,” (BALPA) General Secretary Brian Strutton said. “However, our members are frustrated that after many months of negotiations, we still do not have a decent pay offer on the table. In the meantime, I will continue trying to negotiate with Thomas Cook (GUE)/(JMA) to achieve an outcome that will be acceptable to pilots (FC).”
Thomas Cook Airlines (GUE)/(JMA) said: “Our priority is to make sure our customers can still fly on holiday with us if a strike goes ahead, so we have plans in place to operate all of our flights that are scheduled within the strike period. We continue to work hard with (BALPA)'s representatives to find a way forward and avoid strike action.”
An airline spokesman said he was not aware of the details of the actions intended to keep flights running.
(GUE)/(JMA) has a 34-strong fleet, largely composed of Airbus A321s, plus A330-200s and Boeing 757-200/-300s.
Sister companies Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium (TCW) and Germany’s Condor (CDF) are unaffected by the proposed action.
September 2017: News Item A-1: "UK Pilots Strike for First Time in 4 Decades" by (ATW) Alan Dron email@example.com September 8, 2017.
Pilots (FC) at UK leisure carrier Thomas Cook Airlines (GUE)/(JMA) staged a strike on September 8 for improved pay, the 1st time British flight crew (FC) have gone on strike in >40 years, according to the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA).
(GUE)/(JMA) said it was continuing to operate all services, using either non-union staff or (BALPA) members who did not support the industrial action.
The 12-hour stoppage began at 3 am local time and was staged because of what (BALPA) called "deteriorating wage conditions at the airline." Taking into account inflation, pilots (FC) had effectively been suffering wage cuts for several years, (BALPA) said. It also accused (GUE)/(JMA) of making cuts to pilots’ (FC)'s terms and conditions and on taking an intransigent stance during the pay negotiations.
“Going on strike is not something pilots (FC) take lightly,” (BALPA) General Secretary Brian Strutton said. “(BALPA) members have not been on strike since 1974, but with no sensible pay offer on the table Thomas Cook (GUE)/(JMA) pilots (FC) have had no other option.”
Speaking on the (BBC), (GUE)/(JMA) (CEO) Christoph Debus said pilots (FC) had been offered a 1.75% pay raise this year, followed by a 2.25% increase in 2018 and this was on top of automatic 1.8% pay increments.
He said the company operated in an extremely competitive environment: “On many routes, we are flying wing-to-wing with (LCC)s. We are willing to give a pay raise, but it has to be an appropriate one.”
He said all (GUE)/(JMA)’s flights had so far operated on time, or had departed ahead of time. There had been some rearrangement of schedules to cope with the strike, he added.
Meanwhile, Danish pilots at Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) called off a strike planned for September 11 after the (DPF) pilots’ union reached a new, 3-year agreement with the company. The new agreement, (SAS) said, “sets out a continued common ambition to create a long-term, profitable (SAS).
“The agreement is in line with the rest of the Danish labor market and, in addition, the parties have agreed to jointly work on cost-effectiveness, focusing on adapting pilot (FC) capacity according to the need for flexibility. The changes to the aviation industry have just begun and the key to continued profitability is to meet the needs and expectations of travelers,” (SAS) said.
News Item A-2: Niki Lauda, ex-Formula 1 champion and founder of Austria-based airberlin (BER) subsidiary NIKI (NKI), is partnering with UK-based Thomas Cook Group (GUE)/(JMA) and its German leisure airline subsidiary Condor (CDF) to bid for (NKI) and other parts of (BER). Lauda confirmed the consortium as the September 15 deadline nears for potential buyers of the bankrupt German carrier.
News Item A-3: UK leisure carrier Thomas Cook Airlines (GUE)/(JMA) will launch "Economy PLUS" service on its short- and medium-haul flights from November 1. The new product offering includes services such as priority boarding, an increased luggage allowance and complimentary drinks in-flight.
Economy PLUS will supplement Thomas Cook (GUE)/(JMA)’s existing Economy fare, giving customers the option to add small, but significant luxuries to their flight. “Customers choosing the Economy PLUS package will enjoy a priority security lane and check-in, an additional 4kg of hand luggage, 25kg of hold luggage, the option to reserve a seat, and complimentary in-flight drinks and premium James Martin meal. They will also have access to (GUE)/(JMA)’s mobile in-flight entertainment service, "Sunstream,” according to the company.
Click below for photos:
GUE-757-200 - 2013-03
GUE-A321 - 2017-08.jpg
GUE-A330-200 - 2017-04.jpg
1 757-2G5 (RB211-535E4) (671-26278, /95 G-GJZC), (ILF) LSD. 235Y.
2 757-2Q8 (RB211-535E4) (749-28164, /97 G-FCLB; 756-28166, /97 G-FCLC), (ILF) LSD. 235Y.
2 757-2YO (RB211-535E4) (555-26160, /93 G-FCLJ; 557-26161, /93 G-FCLK), VOLITO LSD. 235Y.
1 757-21KERF (RB211-535E4) (746-28674, /97 G-GJZS), WET-LST (SKB) 2003-11. RF (SKB) 2004-05. LST (SKB) 2004-11. LST (SKB) (AGAIN) 2006-11. FERRIED PRESTWICK TO XIAMEN 2016-05 FOR CONVERSION TO FREIGHTER. FREIGHTER.
0 757-225ER (RB211-535E4) (5-22194, /82 G-JALC; 6-22195, /82 G-PIDS; 8-22197, /82 G-RJGR; 20-22200, /83 G-MCEA). 22200; PARTED OUT. 22194; ST (SGC) AS ENGINE TESTBED 2005-10. 22194; & 22197; ST PARKHEAD LEASING 2006-03. 233Y.
0 757-23AER (RB211-535E4) (259-24636, /90 G-LCRC), EX-(IER), (AWW) LSD. RTND. 233Y.
0 757-23A (RB211-535E4) (250-24528, /89 39 14 G-OBWS), EX-(ABL), (TOM) LSD, WET-LST (DAO) 2002-10. RTND 2003-10. 233Y.
0 757-236 (RB211-535E4) (362-25054, G-OOOK), (BBB) LSD 2002-09. RTND. +1 ORDER (864-29941, G-CPEU). 233Y.
1 757-236 (RB211-535E4) (867-29942, G-OOBG), LST (SKB) AS (C-FUBG) 2006-11. 233Y.
2 757-236 (RB211-535E4) (873-29945, G-TCBB; 877-29946, G-TCBC), (BBB) LSD 2011-01. 233Y.
0 757-236ER (RB211-535E4) (25620) TO (SNR). 233Y.
1 757-25FER (RB211-535E4) (752-28718, /97 G-FCLD), MACQUARIE LSD. 235Y.
1 757-25F (RB211-535E4) (928-30757, /00 G-GJZK; 932-30758, /00 G-GJZYH), (DEA) LSD. 30758 TO SF AIRLINES FOR CONV TO F 2015-07. 235Y.
7 757-28A (RB211-535E4) (226-24369, /89 G-JMCF; 672-26275, /95 G-FCLI; 676-26274, /95 G-FCLH; 738-27621, /96 G-FCLA; 802-28203, /98 G-GJZB; 805-28171, /98 G-FCLE; 858-28835, /99 G-FCLF), (ILF) LSD. 235Y.
3 ORDERS 757-28A (RB211-535E4) (33098, G-OOBC; 33099, G-OOBD; 33100, G-OOBE). 233Y.
2 757-3CQ (RB211-535E4-B) (960-32241, /01 G-JMAA; 963-32242, /01 G-JMAB), (BBB) LSD. 280Y.
2 757-330 (RB211-535E4-B) (29012, G-JMOE; 29013, G-JMOF), EX-(D-ABOE & D-ABOF) 2017-02 & 2017-03. 280Y.
2 767-31KER (CF6-80C2B7F) (528-27205, /94 G-TCCA; 533-27206, /94 G-DAJC; 657-28865, /97 G-TCCB), ALL WET-LST (GIA) FOR HADJ 2003-01 & 2004-01. 27206 WET-LST (DAO) 2003-07. 27205; 27206; LST (SKB) 2005-04. 28865 LST (MON) 2005-04. 27205; RF (SKB) 2005-11. 27206; RF (SKB) 2006-05. 27205; RETURNED TO ALTAVAIR AIRFINANCE, REGISTRATION CANCELED 2017-02. WITH WINGLETS. 30PY, 267Y.
0 DC-10-10 (CF6-6D1A) (318-47832, /80 G-TAOS), (PRH) LSD 2000-08 (285-46646, /79 G-DPSP); (252-46983, /78 G-TDTW, RF (PRH) 2000-10). ALL RETIRED END 2003-10 & SCRAPPED. 379Y.
1 DC-10-30 (CF6-50C2) (260-46990, /78 G-BYDA), 42 MTH LSD, OPS BY (PRH). 363Y.
0 A320-211 (525), (SKB) LSD 2001-04, RTND (SKB) 2001-11.
1 A320-211 (CFM56-5A1) (724, YL-LCI), (LAJ) WET-LST (JMA)/(GUE) 2012-05 FOR SUMMER SEASON. 180Y.
0 A320-212 (795), RTND (SKB) 2000-11.
0 A320-212 (CFM56-5A3) (299, /92 G-JDFW), RF (PRH) 2002-12, RTND (DEA) 2003-06, LST (NOU) 2003-07. 177Y.
1 A320-212 (CFM56-5A3) (301, /92 OY-CNM; 348, /92 OY-CNN), LST (ABL). 301 RTND, LST (NOU) 2004-04. 177Y.
1 A320-212 (CFM56-5A3) (294, OY-CNP; 389, G-OZBB, (MON) LSD 1999-12), (349, /92 G-DACR, EX-(ABL). 349 LST (PRH) 2003-01, RF (PRH) 2003-03; RTND (PRH) 2003-12, LST (HMS) WITH 294; BOTH WET-LST (BGH) 2004-04. 177Y.
1 A320-214 (CFM56-5B4/P) (1780, /02 OY-VKL), (ILF) LSD, (SKB) WET-LSD 2002-05.
7 A320-214 (CFM56-5B4/P) (716, G-OMYA; 1411, G-TCAC; 1942, /03 G-DHRG; 1954, /03 G-YLBM; 1961, /03 G-SUEW; 1965, /03 G-DHJZ; 1972, /03 G-SMTJ; 2003, /03 G-KKAZ; 2114, G-TCAD), (GEF) LSD. 1942; 1954; XFR TO (PRH) 2004-10. 1965; & 2003; LST (SKB) 2004-12. 1965; RF (SKB) 2005-04. 1961; 1965; 2003; TO (SKB) 2005-12. 1961; 1965; 2003; RF (SKB) 2006-04. 1965; (AGAIN) LST (SKB) 2007-12. 1961; 1965; TO (SKB) 2009-12. 180Y.
0 A320-214 (CFM56-5A3) (2183), (BOU) LSD. RTND.
2 A320-231 (V2500-A1) (163, /91 G-RDVE; 164, /91 G-DJAR; 168; 169, /91 G-TICL). 376; (SKB) WET-LSD 2002-05 & 2003-01. 163 RTND 2003-12. 164 RTND 2004-06. 180Y.
7 A320-231 (V2500-A1) (230, /91 G-SSAS, RF (FTZ) 2001-12; 338, /92 G-GTDK; 363, /92 G-SUEE; 424, /93 G-CRPH; 429, /93 G-BYTH; 437, /93 G-FTDF; 444, /93 G-FHAJ; 449, /93 G-JOEM; 476, /94 G-GTDL). 449, G-JOEM; & 230, G-SSAS; OPS FOR (GUE) "LITE." 362 RTN 2003-03. 363 RTND OASIS 2003-06. 338; 429; 476; RF (SKB) 2005-04. 429; 437; TO (SKB) 2005-11. 437; 476; FROM (SKB) 2006-05. 230; ST (UDC) 2006-04. 437; LST (SKB), 2006-04. 180Y.
5 A320-231 (V2500-A1) (1411, G-ERAA; 1965, C-FOJZ; 2003, G-KKAZ), 1411 RTND (SKB) 2005-11 & RF (SKB) 2006-05. 1411 TO (SKB) 2007-10. 1965; LST (SKB) 2007-12. 2003; RF (SKB) 2008-03. 1965; & 2003; RF (SKB) 2009-04. 180Y.
9 ORDERS A321-200 (CFM56), (GEF) LSD:
1 A321-211 (CFM56-5B3/P) (1006, /99 F-HBAF), (GEF) LSD 2005-12, RTND AND LST (JMA)/(GUE) AS (G-TCDZ) 2014-04. 200CY.
8 +19 ORDERS A321-211 (CFM56-5B) (677, G-OMYJ; 808; 823; 1238, G-DHJH; 1250, G-NIKO, 2000-06, G-OMYT), (BBB) LSD. 1ST IN UK (1238, G-DHJH) (1887, /03 OY-VKE), (BOU) LSD. (1881, OY-VKA; 1921, OY-VKB; 1932, OY-VKC; 1960, G-EPFA, 2003-04; 1972, G-SMTJ), 2060 RTND 2004-12. 1881; LSD FROM (PRH) 2015-02. 220Y.
1 A321-211 (CFM56-5B) (2060, G-TCDA), (CGP) LSD. 220Y.
8 A330-243 (TRENT 772B-60) (254, /99 G-MLJL "BEN CROSSLAND;" 266, /99 G-MDBD; 286, G-MDBD; 301, /99 G-OMYT; 309, /99 OY-VKF; 427, G-OJMB; 456, G-OJMC; 795, G-TCXA), 309; RF (PRH) 2001-04) (357, /00 G-CSJS) 301 LST (PRH) 2001-11. 309 LST (PRH) 2003-01. 301 RF (PRH) 2003-04. (AFIS) LSD. 309 (PRH) LSD TIL 2004-11. 2 LST (PRH) 2004-12 to 2005-03. 254; 301; WET-LST (PRH) 2009-10; 301; & 309; RF (PRH) 2016-05. 456; TO (LNK) 2012-03. 49PY, 274Y.
1 A330-322 (PW4168) (095), (SKB) WET-LSD 2001-10, WET-LST (GIA) FOR HADJ TIL THE END OF 2001-04. (SKB) WET-LSD 2002-09. (SKB) WET-LSD 2003-11 TO 2004-04. RTND (ILF), LST (MAS) 2004-01. 171, C-FRAV; (SKB) WET-LSD 2004-11. 31C, 330Y.
2 A330-343X (TRENT 772B-60) (349, /00 OY-VKG; 357, /00 OY-VKI), LST (PRH). WET-LST (GIA) 2004-12 TO 2005-03 FOR HADJ. 357; TO (SKB) 2006-05, RF (SKB) 2006-10. RF (SKB) 2007-10. 357 SUB-LSD FROM (PRH) 2015-01. 408Y.
Click below for photos:
GUE-4-STEVE SOLOMON - 2013-09
GUE-6-JENS BOYD - 2013-08
GUE-7-Captain Stuart Gruber - 2015-08.jpg
CHRISTOPH DEBUS, CO-CHAIRMAN, & CHIEF AIRLINES OFFICER, THOMAS COOK AIRLINES GROUP (2013-03).
RALF TECKENTRUP, CO-CHAIRMAN, THOMAS COOK AIRLINES GROUP, EX-(CDF) (2013-03)
COR VRIESWIJK, HEAD OF OPERATIONS THOMAS COOK GROUP & CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER (COO), EX-(EZY)/(MLT) (2013-03).
BERND BECHTEL, EXECUTIVE VP GROUP FLEET MANAGEMENT, THOMAS COOK GROUP.
CHRISTIAN SCHMITT, DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS, THOMAS COOK GROUP (2013-10).
Christian will report to Cor Vrieswijk.
JENS BOYD, HEAD OF GROUP LONG-HAUL.
aero.com 30-Second Interview - - 2013-08:
The man with the plan. Jens Boyd, Head of Group Long-Haul, Thomas Cook Airlines Group (TCAG) has issued 2 Requests For Proposals (RFP)s in order to find 2 new European airport departure points, as well as 2 new global destinations, to help fill the spare capacity the airline group has on its 20-airplane, long-haul fleet. The Thomas Cook Airlines Group (TCAG) has issued 2 requests for proposals (RFP), the 1st being for additional frequencies to current long-haul destinations in its network out of new European departure airports that can be served by its existing 767 or A330 fleets on an inside W-pattern (out of the destination). The 2nd (RFP) is looking to add new long-haul points in the Americas, Asia and Africa from its existing European departure points. The reason for the (RFP)s is that presently in its S13 schedules, (TCAG) employs 5 of its 20-strong fleet of long-haul airplanes on short- and medium-haul sectors; in the winter, the spare capacity drops to three airplanes. anna.aero discussed the (RFP)s with Jens Boyd, Head of Group Long-Haul at (TCAG) to understand how airports, and their partner tourism bodies, can secure some of the reallocation of (TCAG)’s capacity.
anna.aero (aa): What is (TCAG) looking to get out of the (RFP) process?
Jens Boyd (JB): In particular, we are seeking to obtain insightful traffic analysis, projections and firm proposals of commitment and incentives, which will be used to steer our long-term network planning process.
aa: Has (TCAG) done this type of thing before?
JB: We have never done it in such a structured manner before, as we are looking for the airline, tour operators, airport, tourism board, hotel operators, and travel agents to work together to deliver a positive result. In the past, a tourism authority may have come to just the tour operator, a decision is made and the airline is just seen only as a part of the tour operator. This is perhaps why long-haul routes have not been continued in operations, and also why there has been limited growth to new markets, as adding this type of flight is higher cost and higher risk than for short-haul. We are also looking to use our experience of developing our scheduled network, of using passenger data like (MIDT) to make more informed decisions, as we did in our recent North American expansion.
aa: Are you looking to tie-up all the spare capacity available for W14/15 and S15 from these (RFP)s, or do you think the process may have to be repeated next year?
JB: We will take that decision once we have gone through the process. We are looking to add say 2 relevant European departure airports, as well as 2 new global destinations in this iteration. But clearly, as we have the spare capacity, we could look to add more new network points if the business case is right and the strong partnerships with all stakeholders have been established.
aa: In the departure airport (from Europe) (RFP) it mentions that feed from domestic and regional airline partners like Lufthansa (DLH), (SAS), (LOT) is closely integrated to the (TCAG) product: – surely this gives preference to unserved airports like Berlin or Düsseldorf for example, where there is significant presence with Lufthansa (DLH)?
JB: Feed into the airport is important, particularly when we are talking about niche destinations where there is limited demand at the origin, but we are not limited to those feeder carriers. If Brussels Airport thinks it has the potential to become a new departure point, then they may wish to propose we work with Brussels Airlines (DAT)/(EBA) on a feeder agreement. Similarly, if Dublin wants to talk to us, it might be important that an airline like Aer Lingus (ARL) is involved in any discussions we may have. So it is down to the airport in question to suggest who we could work with.
aa: Do you think the margins achieved on 7 long-haul sectors per week will be higher than those generated by the 10 - 20 short- and medium-haul sectors these airplanes are currently flying?
JB: The overall cost position of a long-haul airplane operating on a short-haul route is always going to be much worse.
aa: What is going to happen to these short-haul sectors? Will the capacity be replaced seat-for-seat?
JB: We will be back-filling this flying with a combination of our own fleet or by using wet-lease (ACMI) providers. It is always good to have a percentage of the latter in order to reduce our risk to unpredictable market changes.
aa: Could airports “buddy-up?” For example, a new European airport with a new Caribbean destination.
JB: Yes they can – it’s in the (RFP). So, for example, if Birmingham Airport thinks that in addition to a strong leisure demand, there is also local (VFR) traffic to Antigua, then we would consider that type of opportunity. In many ways, this style of approach, with both ends of a potential route working together, is taking this process to the next level.
aa: What percentage of (TCAG) long-haul’s costs are allocated to airport charges?
JB: Of course…it should be 0%!! Just kidding (he laughs). In reality, it’s around 3 - 6% of total costs.
aa: On that basis how important is the ‘airport deal’ – isn’t it more important that the business case works?
JB: You are absolutely right. The business case needs to work in the long-term, as often these new route incentives expire anyway. What we are encouraging our airport partners to do is to consider the total costs of operating from their airport. For example, how competitive are the prices fuel providers charge, or indeed ground handlers? This is important when we are considering 2 airports in a particular region. We were evaluating 2 airports situated close to each other, where the larger airport’s landing charges were 3x- more expensive than its smaller competitor. However, our other costs at the bigger airport were so much cheaper than those levied at the smaller airport that no amount of incentive was ever going to recover the savings of operating into the larger airport.
aa: In terms of the prospective global leisure destinations are you looking for the airport or the tourism body to take the lead?
JB: We think that airport needs to take the lead, and also to take on a broader role in the overall partnership. They are many airports which are very good at telling us about their new check-in halls or improved security processing times, but still very few take on the responsibility of being the ‘champion’ in terms of pulling together all of the other stakeholders from the destination that we want to be included in this process.
aa: Many of your existing destinations are tried and tested – is (TCAG) prepared to try unproven markets that are not as well-developed in order to create fresh markets for its customers?
JB: Absolutely. Last winter, we started services to Siem Rep (Cambodia), San Juan (Puerto Rico), Yangon (Myanmar), and Cape Town (South Africa). Puerto Rico and South Africa will return again for this winter. In fact, Cape Town may actually be increased. So while this route churn rate is almost as bad as those from low-cost carriers (LCC)s, we are committed to exploring network white spots where customers want to go, but can’t easily get there. In the past, we have even considered places like Siberia! We know that there are lots of Russians that take holidays near Lake Baikal, so we were interested to see why and whether it would work for us. In the end, all of the components were not there to make the numbers stack-up, but yes we are keen to fill a void perhaps where a normal scheduled airline is not prepared to go.
For those airports who wish to register their interest in responding to these (RFP)s, they can contact Jan Wilken Bellmann – Jan.firstname.lastname@example.org – at the Thomas Cook Airlines Group.
TIM BARLOW, DIRECTOR FINANCE.
STEVE SOLOMON, DIRECTOR DIRECTOR GROUP AVIATION SAFETY, COMPLIANCE AND SECURITY.
UWE KLENOVSKY, COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR.
ROGER MUNYARD, CHIEF PILOT.
TIM CHEAL, GENERAL MANAGER TRAINING - FLIGHT OPERATIONS.