Published on Thursday, October 10, 2019

TUI announces massive expansion following Thomas Cook collapse

TUI has added an extra two million seats to destinations including Turkey, Greece, Balearics, Canaries, Egypt, Mexico and Florida following the collapse of its rival Thomas Cook.

It will also offer more departures from regional airports including Manchester, Doncaster, Sheffield, Birmingham, Newcastle and Glasgow.

A spokesman said TUI is also looking at adding new UK departure airports, with further details due to be announced within the next few weeks.

The expansion will create jobs for more than 100 pilots and 200 cabin crew. Included will be roles for more than 50 Thomas Cook captains with TUI Airways.

The move, which follows the acquisition yesterday of Thomas Cook's entire retail network by Hays Travel, has been applauded by the pilots' union BALPA.

General Secretary Brian Strutton, said: "BALPA has worked closely with TUI Airways on its expansion plans and we are really pleased that so many new jobs have been earmarked for former Thomas Cook pilots. TUI is achieving its business growth in a morally responsible way and BALPA is pleased to support them."

This marks a huge expansion for TUI, which is licensed to carry 5.5 million passengers. It was already significantly larger than its next biggest rival, Jet2holidays, which is licensed to carry 3.9 million. Following the collapse of Thomas Cook, On the Beach is now the UK's third biggest operator, but it's licensed to carry only 1.65 million.

TUI UK and Ireland managing director Andrew Flintham said: 'At TUI we're committed to offering outstanding holidays, flown from local airports to popular holiday hotspots.

"We understand the importance of providing great flexibility and choice, and recognise the need for customers to spread the cost of their holidays with 0% deposit and direct debit payments. The customer is at the heart of everything we do and this additional growth demonstrates our continued commitment for people to discover their smile with us."

TUI Airways MD Dawn Wilson said: "We are delighted that our additional flying allows us to grow our team of 'moment makers' at TUI Airways.

"Every year we welcome new cabin crew and pilots and this year is set to be our biggest and best yet. I'm particularly proud to be able to commit to offering over 50 Thomas Cook captains the opportunity to join TUI Airways and continue to fly customers on their holidays."

Thomas Cook employed around 500 pilots in total.

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