Published on Tuesday, March 31, 2020

TUI completes 'mammoth' mission to bring 45,000 holidaymakers home

TUI has successfully completed its mission to fly 45,000 holidaymakers home, with the arrival of 265 passengers at Birmingham Airport from Cancun on Sunday.

The repatriation programme was mounted by the travel company in response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The company said the 'complex process was planned as government and local authority advice changed and countries closed their borders'. 

As well as returning TUI customers, hundreds more holidaymakers, unable to get home with the airlines they had travelled with, were repatriated by TUI from destinations including Goa, Jamaica, Turkey, Spain and Marrakech.

Almost a thousand TUI cabin crew and 362 flight crew team members put in over 11,000 flying hours to get customers home.

The repatriation effort was supported on the ground by over 2,500 TUI destination reps overseas.

In the last 10 days 192 TUI airways flights have taken off from 30 overseas airports in destinations across the world from Spain, Turkey and Greece to Mexico, Costa Rica and Thailand, bringing customers and 320 overseas destination reps back to 16 UK airports. 

Fifty-eight TUI aircraft will now be based at key UK airports including London Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, Doncaster, Newcastle, East Midlands and Bristol, until they take to the skies again.

Now customers are home, TUI is supporting the repatriation programme announced by the Government yesterday with aircraft and crew deployed to bring Brits back from a range of destinations, including a rescue flight from Tunis departing today.

TUI UK & Ireland managing director Andrew Flintham said: "I don't think anyone could have imagined just a few months ago that we would be where we are today. We have dealt with the largest repatriation operation our business has ever seen, bringing 45,000 of our own customers, and hundreds of other holidaymakers, back from overseas, and now our operation, and the entire, travel industry is temporarily 'on pause'.

"I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who played their part in getting our customers home as safely and as quickly as possible. And to our customers, for their patience and understanding. It is an unpredictable time but one thing I can say for certain is that when it's safe to do so, and people want to travel again, we'll be ready to take them on holiday."

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  • Well done TUI

    An incredible team effort from everyone at TUI! It must have taken an enormous amount of effort and top marks for bringing home non-Tui customers as well. Moments like this make you proud to be part of the unique British travel industry.

    By Michael Edwards, Wednesday, April 1, 2020

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