Thomson Holidays, a UK-based travel operator and subsidiary of Tui Travel Plc, has been forced to postpone the planned introduction of Boeing’s problematic 787 Dreamliner aircraft for its summer schedules.
Thomson was proud to promote itself as the first UK airline to have the state-of-the-art, eco-friendly aircraft available for passengers to experience, to the extent that it had applied a £10 supplement to flights where it was utilised, but on-going technical difficulties that have plagued manufacturer, Boeing, have put back the 787’s delivery for at least 2 months. Passengers that have paid the £10 supplement for flights from May this year, when the aircraft were originally intended to go into service, will now receive a refund from the travel company, as they will not now be available until July at the earliest.
Thomson has ordered eight Dreamliners, an aircraft that is lauded for its quietness and fuel-efficiency. However, technical problems, including over-heating batteries experienced by two Japanese airlines that were among the first to take delivery of the aircraft earlier this year, have resulted in all operational aircraft being grounded and new deliveries being postponed.
A spokesman for Thomson was quoted in the Daily Mail, saying, ‘Our dedicated customer service team is in the process of contacting all customers impacted to inform them that they will now be travelling on Thomson Airways (Boeing) 767 long-haul aircraft, which have premium cabins.
‘The supplement paid for the 787 Dreamliner flight will be refunded to those customers who proceed with their original holiday bookings, and customers will also have the option to amend their holiday without incurring any amendment fees.
‘We understand how frustrating and disappointing this news will be for those customers looking forward to flying on the 787 Dreamliner. We are equally as disappointed that Boeing was not able to confirm a delivery date for us but unfortunately these circumstances are out of our control.’