3 February 2011

Thomson Airways has begun the biggest charter fleet overhaul in British aviation history, with the first of its 22 new Boeing 737-800s flying in to East Midlands Airport. The delivery signals the start of the upgrade of a third of the airline’s fleet. It will receive four of the 22 aircraft this summer, with all 22 delivered by the summer of 2013.

The new 737s will offer savings in both fuel efficiency and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. They also feature the new Boeing Sky Interior, with a spacious new look, modern sculpted sidewalls 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, Robin Hood, Luton and East Midlands over the winter months and will also fly some routes from Manchester and Gatwick over the summer. They will be operated on short-/medium-haul routes and will be configured to allow seating for 189 passengers in standard class.

The airline estimates that around 1.5 million customers will benefit from the upgrade during the summer of 2013. It currently takes 5.5 million customers away on holiday each year from regional airports across the country. The overhaul is part of a wider programme to upgrade its fleet, which includes taking delivery of eight Boeing 787 Dreamliners from 2012.