Thomas Cook collapse: Rival Tui adds extra flights and holidays as it expands business

Biggest travel firm in Europe will also recruit staff who lost their jobs in collapse

Simon Calder
Travel Correspondent
Thursday 10 October 2019 19:45 BST
Thomas Cook: All 555 stores to be bought by Hays Travel

Europe’s biggest holiday company will fly an extra two million passengers next year as it moves to expand its market share following the collapse of Thomas Cook.

Tui will add about 10,000 flights in 2020, using pilots and cabin crew recruited from the failed tour operator.

Many of the flights will be from airports where Thomas Cook Airlines had a big presence, including Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle and Glasgow.

Most of the flights will be short- and mid-haul – particularly to Spain, Turkey and Egypt – but Tui will also serve Mexico and Florida, where Thomas Cook had big operations.

But there is no mention of Cuba, where Thomas Cook was the only operator on a number of holiday routes.

Dawn Wilson, managing director of Tui Airways, said: “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.”

An additional 50 first officers and 200 cabin crew are also expected to join Tui Airways from Thomas Cook.

Brian Strutton, general secretary of the British Airline Pilots’ Association, said: “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.”

On Wednesday, the Insolvency Service revealed that Hays Travel had agreed to take over the entire Thomas Cook portfolio of 555 shops around the UK.

British Airways and Jet2 are also expected to move in on routes abandoned by Thomas Cook Airlines. BA has already announced a new route from Gatwick to Antalya on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast.

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