Britannia Airways' parent TUI UK is to shed 800 jobs across its businesses under a reorganisation that will see its Thomsonfly low-cost carrier brand applied to the entire UK-based fleet, writes Graham Dunn.

The Thomsonfly brand was launched earlier this year with four Boeing 737-500s at Coventry airport as a spin-off from in-house charter carrier Britannia. TUI began the process of dropping the Britannia name from its UK charter fleet and replacing it with Thomson earlier this year. The Thomsonfly rebranding will begin in November.

TUI says it already has seat-only customers on its charter flights and the move to roll out the Thomsonfly name across its whole fleet is designed to make it easier for customers to see the whole flight network available.

TUI says it will invest in its fleet, through a refurbishment programme and extra aircraft, but does not give details. Thomsonfly management has previously outlined plans to grow the carrier's 737 fleet quickly. Consolidation across the business will see about 800 jobs - around 8% of its UK-based workforce - eliminated.

"This is about reshaping the business so we can compete in a much more competitive environment," says TUI UK managing director Peter Rothwell. "We want to grow and take advantage of new distribution channels, particularly the internet, which is growing fast for TUI UK."

Britannia is part of the TUI airline group, which includes major partner Hapag-Lloyd and Hapag-Lloyd Express in Germany, as well as Corsair in France, Britannia Airways Sweden and TUI Airlines Belgium. London Luton-based Britannia operates 33 Boeing 757s and 767s.

Source: Flight International