Thomson Airways Limited is the world's largest charter airline, offering scheduled and charter flights from the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland to destinations in Europe, Africa, Asia and North America. The airline is a subsidiary of TUI Travel, which was formed by the merger of the travel division of TUI AG and First Choice Holidays plc in September 2007. The two companies' respective airlines, Thomsonflyand First Choice Airways, were merged under the former's Air Operator's Certificate from May 2008, and were rebranded as Thomson Airways on 1 November 2008.

The airline carried 10.5 million passengers in 2013, making it the third-largest UK airline by total passengers, after EasyJet and British Airways. The registered office is at the TUI Travel House in Crawley, West Sussex but its head office is located in Wigmore House in Luton, Bedfordshire.



Thomson Airways has its origins in several predecessor airlines. Euravia, an airline which was founded in January 1962 was renamed Britannia Airways in December 1964. Orion Airways, founded in 1979 by Horizon Holidays and later owned by the large brewing firm Bass Brewery and InterContinental Hotels Group, was sold and merged into Britannia Airways in 1989. Britannia Airways was rebranded as Thomsonfly in May 2005.  Finally, Air 2000 was founded in 1987, and which integrated the operations of Leisure International Airways in 1998, became First Choice Airways in 2004.

Thomsonfly and First Choice Airways merged following the merger of the travel division of TUI AG and First Choice Holidays PLC in September 2007. All flights operated under the Thomsonfly CAA Air Operator's Certificate from 1 May 2008. The Thomson Airways brand was launched for the combined airline on 1 November 2008, which became the world's largest charter airline.

The new brand retained the Thomsonfly colour scheme, and aircraft in the fleet were gradually repainted. Several First Choice Airways aircraft remained in the First Choice livery as they were due to be phased out of service. A new livery, named the "dreamliner" livery to coincide with the delivery of the Boeing 787 in 2013, was introduced in May 2012.

Thomson Airways became the first UK airline to take delivery of the Boeing 787, receiving the first aircraft in May 2013. Passenger services with the aircraft began on 21 June 2013 with a flight between London Gatwick and Menorca.



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