The world’s largest holiday airline, Thomson Airways, has begun the biggest charter fleet overhaul in British aviation history today (Wednesday 2nd February) with the first of its 22 new Boeing Next-Generation 737-800s flying into East Midlands airport.
The delivery signals the start of the upgrade of a third of Thomson Airways’ fleet and the airline will receive four of the 22 aircraft by this summer, with all 22 delivered by the summer of 2013.
Thomson Airways estimates that around 1.5 million customers will benefit from the upgrade during the summer of 2013. The airline currently takes 5.5 million customers away on holiday each year from regional airports across the country.
Thomson Airways new 737s will offer savings in both fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions. The latest generation aircraft that Thomson Airways will fly compares very favourably to the model it is replacing by offering a fuel-efficiency improvement of 15% created by engine improvements and a reduction in surface drag.
The Next Generation 737-800s features the new Boeing Sky Interior. Customers will enjoy a spacious new look with modern sculpted side walls and cove ceilings, larger overhead stow bins and a quieter cabin. Long lasting LED reading lights are brighter, and crew will use new technology to create the sunrise and sunset of the customer’s destination.
The four aircraft due for delivery this year will primarily fly out of Bournemouth, Doncaster, Luton and East Midlands over the winter months and will also fly some routes from Manchester and Gatwick over the summer.
The overhaul is part of a wider programme by Thomson Airways to upgrade its fleet, which includes taking delivery of eight Boeing 787 Dreamliners from 2012.
Chris Browne, Thomson Airways Managing Director, says: “This latest investment in the new 737-800 next generation aircraft allows us to further enhance our customer’s holiday experiences and comes at a time when other airlines are cutting back. This demonstrates our commitment to offering British holidaymakers a great onboard experience from their local airport.”
The new generation Boeing 737-800s will be operated on short/medium haul routes and will be configured to allow seating for 189 passengers in standard class.