Last updated
Thomsonfly logo.png
IATA ICAO Callsign
Ceased operations1 November 2008 (merged with First Choice Airways to form Thomson Airways)
Focus cities
Alliance TUI Airlines
Fleet size46
Company sloganDon't just travel, travel with a smile
Parent company TUI Travel PLC
Headquarters Luton, United Kingdom
Key peopleChris Browne MD)
John Murphy(DFO)
Dawn Wilson (Direcr of Ground Operations)

Thomsonfly was a British charter and scheduled airline. Thomsonfly was the first stage of TUI AG's plans to expand its business within TUI UK prior to September 2007. After TUI UK merged with First Choice Holidays in September 2007, it became part of TUI Travel PLC. The new holiday company continued with both in-house airlines (Thomsonfly and First Choice Airways) through Winter 2007 and Summer 2008 until the two were merged on 1 November 2008 as Thomson Airways.

TUI Travel PLC was a British leisure travel group headquartered in Crawley, West Sussex. The company was formed on 3 September 2007 by the merger of First Choice Holidays PLC and the Tourism Division of TUI AG, which owned 56.4%. The company operated in 180 countries and claimed 30 million customers.


Thomsonfly was the largest charter airline in the world, and also operated scheduled services to 20 European cities. The airline had several bases including Birmingham, Bournemouth, Cardiff, Coventry, Glasgow, Liverpool, London Gatwick, Belfast, London Luton, Manchester, Newcastle and Doncaster-Sheffield.

Bournemouth Airport airport in the United Kingdom

Bournemouth Airport is an airport located 3.5 NM north-northeast of Bournemouth, in southern England. The site opened as RAF Hurn in 1941 but was transferred to civil control in 1944. For a short period Hurn served as Britain's only international airport, until the opening of facilities at Heathrow. Commercial services resumed in the late 1950s, with Palmair commencing flights to Palma, Majorca in October 1958.

Coventry Airport airport in the United Kingdom

Coventry Airport is located 3 NM south-southeast of Coventry city centre, in the village of Baginton, Warwickshire, England. The airport is operated by Coventry Airport Limited, and has a CAA Ordinary Licence that allows flights for the public transport of passengers or for flying instruction as authorised by the licensee, Coventry Airport Limited.

Liverpool John Lennon Airport airport in Liverpool, England

Liverpool John Lennon Airport is an international airport serving North West England. On the outbreak of World War II, the airport was operated by the RAF and known as RAF Speke. The airport is within the City of Liverpool on the banks of the estuary of the River Mersey some 6.5 nautical miles south east of the city centre. Originally called Speke Airport, in 2001 the airport was renamed after Liverpudlian musician John Lennon of The Beatles. Scheduled domestic, European and North African services are operated from the airport.

Thomsonfly Limited held a United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority Type A Operating Licence permitting it to carry passengers, cargo and mail on aircraft with 20 or more seats. [1]

Civil Aviation Authority (United Kingdom) British aviation regulator

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is the statutory corporation which oversees and regulates all aspects of civil aviation in the United Kingdom. Its areas of responsibility include:


A Thomsonfly Boeing 767-300ER takes off from Glasgow International Airport, Scotland. (2006) Thomsonfly GLA.jpg
A Thomsonfly Boeing 767-300ER takes off from Glasgow International Airport, Scotland. (2006)

Thomsonfly traces its roots to its parent airline, Britannia Airways, founded by Ted Langton. The airline began as Euravia in 1962. The name was changed to Britannia Airways and remained until December 2004. Britannia grew rapidly when it acquired Boeing 737-200 aircraft, and was the European launch customer for the Boeing 767 and then moved to an all-Boeing 767 and 757 fleet in the mid-1990s, with a total fleet of 45 aircraft by 2004.

Britannia Airways was a charter airline based in the United Kingdom. It was founded in 1961 as Euravia and became the world's largest holiday airline. Britannia's main bases were at London Gatwick, London Stansted, London Luton, Cardiff, Bristol, East Midlands, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Leeds Bradford, Edinburgh, and Glasgow and had its headquarters at Britannia House in Luton, Bedfordshire.

Boeing 767 Large wide-body twin-engine jet airliner family

The Boeing 767 is a mid- to large-size, mid- to long-range, wide-body twin-engine jet airliner built by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It was Boeing's first wide-body twinjet and its first airliner with a two-crew glass cockpit. The aircraft has two turbofan engines, a conventional tail, and, for reduced aerodynamic drag, a supercritical wing design. Designed as a smaller wide-body airliner than earlier aircraft such as the 747, the 767 has a seating capacity for 181 to 375 people, and a design range of 3,850 to 6,385 nautical miles, depending on variant. Development of the 767 occurred in tandem with a narrow-body twinjet, the 757, resulting in shared design features which allow pilots to obtain a common type rating to operate both aircraft.

Thomson Holidays subsequently embraced a web-oriented rebranding and used the Thomsonfly name to include all of the UK flying operations, with the larger Britannia Airways rebranded as Thomsonfly in 2005.

Scheduled operations began on 31 March 2004 with four Boeing 737-500 aircraft, from a new passenger terminal at Coventry Airport. The airline became involved in controversy when it took over ownership of the airport lease. A number of local residents and Warwick District Council mounted a campaign against regular passenger flights from the airport, which had been used for both passenger and freight aircraft. The planning case was contentious and lengthy, and Thomsonfly continued to operate from Coventry awaiting the outcome of the case. Planning permission was granted for a larger passenger terminal and the ownership of the lease has passed to CAFCO, an airport and property development company with no links to TUI.

Boeing 737 Classic Airliner family by Boeing

The Boeing 737 Classic is the second generation of the Boeing 737 jetliner, comprising the -300, -400, and -500 series. It follows the original -100/-200 models that began production in 1966. They are short- to medium-range, narrow-body jet airliners. Produced by Boeing Commercial Airplanes from 1984 to 2000, the 737 Classic includes three variants and can seat between 145 and 188 passengers. Improvements over the previous generation of 737 aircraft included CFM International CFM56 high-bypass-ratio turbofan engines, upgraded avionics, and increased passenger capacity.

A Thomsonfly Boeing 737-800 takes off from London Luton, England. (2007) Thomsonfly.b737-800.g-fdza.arp.jpg
A Thomsonfly Boeing 737-800 takes off from London Luton, England. (2007)

On 28 April 2005, Thomsonfly became the first airline to fly from Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield. Thomsonfly was also the first airline to operate direct long haul services from the airport. The airline remains the dominant carrier at Robin Hood Airport, Coventry Airport and Bournemouth Airport, where a base was also established.

Thomsonfly was the best on-time charter airline in 2004 as measured by the Air Transport Users' Council and also won the 'Travel Weekly' best UK charter airline award for 2004. The airline is part of TUI Airline Management (TAM).

In November 2008, Thomsonfly withdrew all flights operating from Coventry Airport, leaving the airport with no scheduled flights. This was due to financial conditions and that there had been repeated failed attempts to build a permanent terminal at the airport.

Merger with First Choice Airways

In March 2008, the tourism division of the airline's parent group TUI AG, merged with First Choice Holidays PLC, forming the new company TUI Travel. The company's head office is in Crawley, West Sussex although the UK and Ireland head office is in Luton.

From 1 May 2008, pilots flew both Thomsonfly and First Choice aircraft, but cabin crew remained on their original aircraft.[ citation needed ] Thomsonfly Limited changed its name to Thomson Airways Limited in October 2008 and the Thomsonfly operating certificate was changed to Thomson Airways with effect from 31 October 2008. On 1 November 2008, Thomsonfly and First Choice Airways both rebranded their operations as Thomson Airways. The two airlines were merged with a fleet of 75 aircraft.



A Thomsonfly Boeing 757-200 landing at Bristol Airport, England (2007). Thomsonfly b757-200 g-byap arp.jpg
A Thomsonfly Boeing 757-200 landing at Bristol Airport, England (2007).

In October 2008, the Thomsonfly fleet comprised: [2]

Thomsonfly Fleet
AircraftTotalPassengers [3] Routes
Boeing 737-300 10148Short and medium haul
Boeing 737-800 13189Short haul
Boeing 757-200 14235Short and medium haul
Boeing 767-200ER 2290Short, medium and long haul
Boeing 767-300ER 7283Short, medium and long haul

It also operated Boeing 737-500s during operations, but they were retired before the merger.


Number of Passengers [4] Number of Flights [5] Load Factor [6]
Source: UK Civil Aviation Authority


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TUI fly Nordic airline

TUI fly Nordic is a charter airline headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden and is a part of the TUI Group. It operates short, medium and long-haul flights to leisure destinations from several airports in the Nordic countries, on behalf of the tour operators TUI Danmark (Denmark), TUI Suomi (Finland), TUI Norge (Norway) and TUI Sverige (Sweden). In 2016, the airline carried approximately 1,500,000 passengers.

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TUI fly Deutschland German airline

TUI fly Deutschland, formerly TUIfly, is a German leisure airline owned by the travel and tourism company TUI Group. It is headquartered at Hannover Airport with bases at several other German airports. TUI fly Deutschland is part of the TUI Airlines airline unit of TUI.

Air UK Leisure was a British airline operating charter flights on behalf of its parent Air UK.

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TUI Airways Charter airline based in the United Kingdom

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

LOT Charters

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  1. CAA operating licence
  2. CAA Aircraft Register
  3. Thomsonfly Fleet
  4. Number of Passengers uplifted on both scheduled and non-scheduled flights.
  5. Number of Flights represents total flights during that year.
  6. Load Factor represents number of seat-km used as a proportion of number of seat-km available.

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