Remember that the Germans aren't in charge any more. Since the merger with First Choice, TUI AG
do not control the airlines, TUI Travel do - and although TUI AG
owns 51% of TUI Travel, it is headquartered in the UK and run primarily by the old First Choice management. In one of the business briefs that they have been giving to employees, it was categorically stated the UK airlines will not be going yellow and, as yet they have not decided on the branding in the UK. It was also said that the whole TUIfly operation in Germany is being re-evaluated, as it has not been performing as expected and has been very confusung for the customer base. I would not be surprised if it all went back to holiday charter flights only - already TUI Travel have chopped Thomsonfly's scheduled programme for next summer by 12%. Expect this to keep falling. The new airline management in the UK are the same people who a few years ago decided to take FCA
out of the flight only market (remember air2000.com?) and concentrate on a high-quality leisure operation. Flight only can still be booked on FCA
, but it is a tiny fragment of what it used to be and is not marketed at all. They realised that rather than try and compete with the low-cost airlines, they should focus on the leisure market and more high-yield passengers. It has definitely paid off in the case of FCA
- long haul and mid haul bookings are up again this year by 26% and 27% year-on-year. A smart move to move away from the short-haul routes. I expect this will be the way Thomsonfly - and TUIfly - go in the next few months as well.