It’s been over a month since the demise of Thomas Cook and numerous airlines have been looking to fill the gap that was left by the holiday airline. At German holiday airline TUI Fly, the decision has been made to launch long-haul services. Destinations initially confirmed include cities in the Caribbean and Mexico. Fellow TUI-branded British, Scandinavian, Dutch and Belgian airlines of the Group have already been operating long-haul flights for years.
According to Aviation24.be, this long-haul service will begin at the start of the 2020/21 winter schedule out of Germany. Initially, service will fly passengers from Germany to Caribbean and Mexican destinations using two Boeing 787 Dreamliners.
It is unclear where these jets will come from. According to Airfleets, German-registered TUI Fly does not currently have any 787s registered under the company. However, fellow subsidiary TUI Airlines Belgium owns two while the TUI in the UK has 13.
According to remarks made by the Managing Director of TUI Fly, these flights will not only add to the profitability of the airline but will also integrate with other TUI Group offerings. These include TUI cruises and TUI-owned hotels:
“An agreement with social partners makes the decision for long-haul possible. Strategically, the long-haul segment brings several advantages for the TUI Group: The feeder flights for cruises of the “Mein Schiff” fleet of TUI Cruises are operated under their own flag. The TUI Group is strong on long-haul destinations and owns a comprehensive own hotel portfolio in the Caribbean. The approach of long-haul destinations, such as the Cape Verde Islands, is also being considered. There, the TUI Group has a strong presence with its own hotel brands such as RIU, Robinson and TUI Blue,” -Oliver Lackmann, Managing Director, TUI fly GmbH.
With about a year to go, there has yet to be confirmation on route specifics for the German airline. However, in Mexico TUI UK flies to Cancun. In the Caribbean, it flies direct to Montego Bay (Jamaica) and St Lucia. Both Caribbean destinations have cruise ship ports. Other TUI Group airlines fly to even more destinations in the region.
Lackmann says that there is some flexibility for the airline to react to market demand. In his statement he says:
“Should further market changes reduce capacities in the coming months, we can also implement our planned fleet expansion more quickly. In general, long-haul routes are not new to the TUI Group – in Great Britain, Scandinavia, the Netherlands and Belgium, TUI’s airlines are very successful in operating more than 25 wide-bodied aircraft,”
In what other ways do you think the TUI Group will expand? What aircraft might be added to their fleet? Let us know by leaving a comment!
We asked TUI Fly about where the planes will come from that will operate these long-haul flights. At the time of publishing this article, we have yet to receive a response.