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Thomas Cook & EasyJet Tie-up - End Of UK Charters?

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:51 am
by gilesdavies
Thomas Cook and easyJet are on the verge of announcing a major tie-up where package tour operator Thomas Cook, will sell flights onboard easyJet scheduled flights and not just Thomas Cook Airlines or the other charter carriers they usually use.

They are going to buy up thousands of seats on easyJet and offer to them to package holiday customers, giving them more choice of airports to fly from and length of stays. So where travellers through the tour operator have traditionally been stuck to a 7 or 14 night holiday, so now passengers will be able to away on a 5 day or 12 day holiday instead for example...

This will also offer passengers more choice of more UK airports to fly from, where maybe easyJet fly to destination from a certain airport where Thomas Cook don't.

This is quite a major move such a tour operator like Thomas Cook, who specifically uses their own in house airline and charters other airlines to fly their customers on package holidays within Europe.

Smaller tour operators have been using the LCC for a while now, but with such a large company offering this. I wonder if this could be the gradual demise of another major charter airline?

I've noticed in recent years Thomas Cook has been using Thomson flights to fly passengers on holiday, this is especially noticeable on flights out of LTN, where Thomas Cook and Airtours use to base one or two aircraft and since they withdrew the base Thomson has flown their customers. A few years back this would have been unthinkable and both tour operators would operate their own flights.

Source:
http://www.travelmole.com/news_featu...~AnY!v~A&w_id=8246&news_id=2003033

RE: Thomas Cook & EasyJet Tie-up - End Of UK Charters?

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:12 pm
by Boeing74741R
The deal covers around 80,000 trips which is 3% of their annual capacity - an interesting move. I doubt it's the end of UK charter airlines, though it's clear that with the traditional package holiday market in continuing decline combined with the weak economy, some like TCX appear to be taking steps to adapt and survive in a marketplace which has changed from what it once used to be, especially considering the well-reported financial issues of the Thomas Cook Group earlier this year.

The idea of buying package holidays in lengths besides the traditional 7/14-day length is another good move IMO as it offers more of the flexibility enjoyed by those who "build" their own holidays (separate booking of flights, hotels etc) yet enjoy the protection of package holidays, as well as broadening their appeal to those who want a holiday but of an unconventional length (Case Study: Me - I'm flying tomorrow on a 6-day holiday, on U2 as it happens, as it worked out cheaper for me and saves an extra day's annual leave for something else).

Considering TCX's fleet of 757s aren't getting any younger and with no direct replacement besides the A321/739ER and the neo/MAX later this decade, I wonder if this is successful it is a step towards shaping the future TCX fleet with smaller aircraft as the 757s come up with withdrawal and to increase the amount of their capacity allocation to other airlines?

RE: Thomas Cook & EasyJet Tie-up - End Of UK Charters?

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:19 pm
by flybehubby
Thomas Cook have been using seats on easyJet flights for a while now, certainly since the beginning of summer 2011 for both their flexible trips brand and mainstream packages. This deal, if announced, sounds like the seats will be at a fixed price rather than paying the "rate on the day" but for a gaurunteed number of seats.

[Edited 2012-09-11 05:20:21]

RE: Thomas Cook & EasyJet Tie-up - End Of UK Charters?

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:42 pm
by JU068
I wonder if this means that Easyjet might be adding more flights to Larnaca and Paphos or does this apply to less popular destinations?

Could we see Easyjet acquiring bigger airplanes? Thet most definetly might need them in summer.

RE: Thomas Cook & EasyJet Tie-up - End Of UK Charters?

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:26 pm
by GT4EZY
Quoting ju068 (Reply 3):
I wonder if this means that Easyjet might be adding more flights to Larnaca and Paphos or does this apply to less popular destinations?

Could we see Easyjet acquiring bigger airplanes? Thet most definetly might need them in summer.

Longer distance routes at Easyjet have been progressively increasing for several years now so LCA may well see an increase as could PFO which already see's a number of services. However, the TCX deal may well be to help them serve a number of UK airports where TCX doesn't have a base.

I don't anticipate any larger aircraft, certainly for next Summer. The A321NEO may well be part of a Airbus or Airbus/Boeing order at the end of this year but delivery is a long way off, in terms of this deal atleast. Just to put a bit of perspective on things here. The deal is for 80,000 seats. Easyjet carried 200,000 passengers last Friday alone.

RE: Thomas Cook & EasyJet Tie-up - End Of UK Charters?

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:25 pm
by ACEregular
Charter in UK, lost the fight with the lo-cost's a good while ago. Thomson may still do well as a UK based long-haul charter airline, especially once the Dreamliner comes online. However the future of short-haul, European charter flying, I think is going to be very niche market in future. Maybe even TOM and TCX doing something together? It has been discussed before, maybe a merger of the short-haul flying fleet and companies would be the only way TCX may have a future. Yes it is only 80,000 seats, but this time next year it could be many many more.......

RE: Thomas Cook & EasyJet Tie-up - End Of UK Charters?

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:53 pm
by GT4EZY
Quoting ACEregular (Reply 5):
Charter in UK, lost the fight with the lo-cost's a good while ago. Thomson may still do well as a UK based long-haul charter airline, especially once the Dreamliner comes online. However the future of short-haul, European charter flying, I think is going to be very niche market in future. Maybe even TOM and TCX doing something together? It has been discussed before, maybe a merger of the short-haul flying fleet and companies would be the only way TCX may have a future. Yes it is only 80,000 seats, but this time next year it could be many many more.......

I don't disagree with you regarding the longevity of the charter airline but even 10 times the 80,000 figure would be spread very thinly across even the network. Even so, I do think it's a great move by both parties.

RE: Thomas Cook & EasyJet Tie-up - End Of UK Charters?

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:46 am
by Liverpoola380
I dont think we are seeing the end of the charters. I think this will present an opportunity for TCX to streamline. I think more and more longhaul routes are coming desirable and these are not served but U2 or any other low cost.

There is still profit to be made from the charter busines TCX just need to put there house in order and learn from Thomson who are currently very succesful

RE: Thomas Cook & EasyJet Tie-up - End Of UK Charters?

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:56 am
by raffik
Definitely not the end of charters. The deal accounts for just 8% of Thomas Cook's overall capacity and there is
no way that Easyjet will be able to serve the longer haul destinations that charter airlines serve.
This is just a mutually beneficial agreement between the two airlines

RE: Thomas Cook & EasyJet Tie-up - End Of UK Charters?

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:23 am
by nema
Although i dont see this as a worry for the charters, i hope that it is clear to potential customers that they may be flying with an LCC on certain routes. It would otherwise be a shock to some i feel to find they are travelling EasyJet for example.

Having said that, legroom on EZY is probably better than on Thomas Cooks own.

RE: Thomas Cook & EasyJet Tie-up - End Of UK Charters?

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:26 am
by bennett123
Possibly for the A320/A321.

However, TCX also have 4 A330, 19 B757 and 2 B767.

That is a lot of capacity to be provided by U2, including LH.

I do not see a LCC A321NEO flying to Orlando or Cancun.

RE: Thomas Cook & EasyJet Tie-up - End Of UK Charters?

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:55 pm
by ACEregular
Quoting bennett123 (Reply 10):

Of course not, that is why I think Charter Flying for Long-Haul ops will remain. In many cases people choose Thomson for Long-haul over BA and VS where routes are duplicated. Especially paying the extra for premium. Have to remember both TOM 767's and TCX A330's have more leg room than either BA or VS in their cabins.

RE: Thomas Cook & EasyJet Tie-up - End Of UK Charters?

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:23 pm
by GT4EZY
Quoting nema (Reply 9):
Although i dont see this as a worry for the charters, i hope that it is clear to potential customers that they may be flying with an LCC on certain routes. It would otherwise be a shock to some i feel to find they are travelling EasyJet for example.

Absolutely but lets face it, these are mis-conceptions in todays world. The experience on Easyjet, particularly with allocated seating now, is very similar (arguably better) than TCX.

I think people are getting a little bit carried away even mentioning long haul. It's a small deal as already said and it's hardly ground breaking. That said, the LCC/Easyjet long haul rumour has always revolved around NYC etc. I actually think any foray into long haul for Easy/LCC would be the charter routes. It's point to point in nature with no real need for feed. It's not on the radar at Easyjet but who knows in 5+ years? They have chased the charters from the costa's and they went on to give strong competition in the Canaries, Eastern Med and Red Sea. Perhaps the MCO's, POP's, CUN's etc are where we would see long haul LCC's 'IF' it ever happened.

RE: Thomas Cook & EasyJet Tie-up - End Of UK Charters?

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:39 pm
by TC957
Thomas Cook Holidays are only getting round now to what us in the travel trade have been doing for years, ie, marrying up lo-cost flights with resort accommodation and transfers to create the package that suits our clients best. I see the inevitable but a slow decline in the number of short & mid haul charter aircraft in future, and if this venture is deemed a success then I'm sure other big tour operators will follow.

RE: Thomas Cook & EasyJet Tie-up - End Of UK Charters?

Posted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:31 pm
by sunshine79
This is just like many years ago, when all tour operators used to use plenty of other airlines, before the time when everyone decided to merge with all the others and there was plenty of operators and airlines available.

Quoting flybehubby (Reply 2):
Thomas Cook have been using seats on easyJet flights for a while now, certainly since the beginning of summer 2011 for both their flexible trips brand and mainstream packages.

TCTO do not use EZY at the moment and next year will be the first time they will be introduced into the mainstream market. Only Flexible Trips, which is under the Thomas Cook umbrella, book EZY and all other low cost carriers.

TCTO use KM, MON, ZB, BA charter, BE charter, PC, OHY, FHY, IWD, AEA, TOM flights this summer.

RE: Thomas Cook & EasyJet Tie-up - End Of UK Charters?

Posted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:50 pm
by flybehubby
Quoting sunshine79 (Reply 14):

My last Thomas Cook package ex Gatwick I was on a Tcx flight and recieved and email changing me onto an ezy flight last summer. Suited me better. To be clear, this was a package - not a build your own flexible trip.

RE: Thomas Cook & EasyJet Tie-up - End Of UK Charters?

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:31 am
by virgincrew
Quoting nema (Reply 9):
Although i dont see this as a worry for the charters, i hope that it is clear to potential customers that they may be flying with an LCC on certain routes. It would otherwise be a shock to some i feel to find they are travelling EasyJet for example.

Having said that, legroom on EZY is probably better than on Thomas Cooks own.

No offence to TCX or TOM - but now days, there is not much difference in flying UK charter and a LCC on short haul flights !

I used to be cabin crew for Thomas Cook in their JMC days and UK charter airlines are not what they once were on the short haul routes.

TCX need to get their house sorted and get rid of the very ageing 757 fleet of aircraft (shame though, as the 757 is one of my favourite aircraft).

I have recently flown Thomas Cook, Jet2 & Easyjet and I found the service and general product much better on the LCC's.

[Edited 2012-09-13 23:33:11]

RE: Thomas Cook & EasyJet Tie-up - End Of UK Charters?

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:25 am
by ACEregular
EZY and TCX both have BOB service. TCX have IFE on the 757-200's, EZY don't, but to be honest most TCX pax don't even miss it. Some TCX cabin crew think they are still in charter circa 1989 and have no concept of what flying EZY is like, and still believe their product to be superior. I personally find it to be the opposite. I find the A319/320's of EZY to be much more modern, brighter, airey and even more spacious, evn though they are kitted out in max configuration. Possibly due to the thinner seats, affording slightly better legroom. The crew on EZY are usually very friendly and not as stiff as some of the older Charter crew. I think personally and having inside and outside experience of both airlines product, I think TCX needs to have a serious rethink on it's product and what it want's to be. you can't help but feel they have lost their way. The crew are trying, but are only as good as the instrument they play.

RE: Thomas Cook & EasyJet Tie-up - End Of UK Charters?

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:19 am
by virgincrew
Quoting ACEregular (Reply 17):
EZY and TCX both have BOB service. TCX have IFE on the 757-200's, EZY don't, but to be honest most TCX pax don't even miss it. Some TCX cabin crew think they are still in charter circa 1989 and have no concept of what flying EZY is like, and still believe their product to be superior. I personally find it to be the opposite. I find the A319/320's of EZY to be much more modern, brighter, airey and even more spacious, evn though they are kitted out in max configuration. Possibly due to the thinner seats, affording slightly better legroom. The crew on EZY are usually very friendly and not as stiff as some of the older Charter crew. I think personally and having inside and outside experience of both airlines product, I think TCX needs to have a serious rethink on it's product and what it want's to be. you can't help but feel they have lost their way. The crew are trying, but are only as good as the instrument they play.

I couldn't agree more, except for the comment about TCX having IFE on their 757's, TCX & TOM no longer offer IFE on their short haul aircraft - you now have to hire a dvd like device onboard the aircraft ! Nowdays, there is no difference between UK charter airlines and UK LCC's.

It's funny you saying that about older charter crew as I remember when I started flying back in 2002 for JMC, the devide between airlines was hilarious - the only crew that spoke to each other on the crew bus was charter & charter... lcc & lcc and then you had the legacy airlines like BA & VS.

TCX need to retire their 757 fleet, like TOM are starting to do with the replacement of their 757 fleet with the 737. Or they could look at refurbishing their ageing 757 fleet. When you look at the likes of Jet2 who have older 2nd hand aircraft, when you fly Jet2, their aircraft don't feel 2nd hand and the legroom is excellent.

RE: Thomas Cook & EasyJet Tie-up - End Of UK Charters?

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:23 pm
by Liverpoola380
Quoting virgincrew (Reply 18):
TCX need to retire their 757 fleet, like TOM are starting to do with the replacement of their 757 fleet with the 737. Or they could look at refurbishing their ageing 757 fleet. When you look at the likes of Jet2 who have older 2nd hand aircraft, when you fly Jet2, their aircraft don't feel 2nd hand and the legroom is excellent

I couldnt agree me, stepping in the old 757's is like going back in time there dull and depressing.

The yellow lighting needs to go and to have a brighter airier feel would make the whole experience a lot lest claustrophobic. I would say the same for TOM also.

If i had the choice of flying TOM / TCX shorthaul over a EZY I would choose EZY there is no difference with the onboard service and EZY is a much comfier ride!