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Dreamliner touches down as Thomson Airways toasts 50 years of flying

Thomson Airways today, 24 April, welcomed the arrival of Boeing’s revolutionary 787 Dreamliner to Manchester Airport during the UK leg of Boeing’s Dream Tour, whilst celebrating a landmark itself - the 50th anniversary of the airline.

Dreamliner touches down as Thomson Airways toasts 50 years of flying

  • Dreamliner visits Thomson Airways, the first UK customer to fly the aircraft, as part of Boeing’s Dream Tour
  • Thomson Airways Dreamliner flights to start on 1st May 2013 from four regional airports
  • Crew from 1960s reunited for arrival of state-of-the-art aircraft

Thomson Airways today, 24 April, welcomed the arrival of Boeing’s revolutionary 787 Dreamliner to Manchester Airport during the UK leg of Boeing’s Dream Tour, whilst celebrating a landmark itself - the 50th anniversary of the airline.

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner landed on the runway, captained by senior pilot and head of training for Thomson Airways Stuart Gruber, where it was met by veteran cabin crew and pilots from Britannia and Air 2000 (the two origins of Thomson Airways).

The airline also took advantage of the Dreamliner’s visit to unveil the planned appearance of the aircraft interior and the brand new livery design for Thomson Airways, as well as other TUI Travel Group airlines.

Chris Browne, Managing Director of Thomson Airways, comments: “As the UK’s third largest airline, it is a major coup for us to become the first UK airline to take delivery of the 787 Dreamliner. We are thrilled to be flying the aircraft in our Summer 2013 flying programme and what better way to celebrate than to reunite some of our original pilots and cabin crew to showcase the latest in aviation technology.

“Starting to fly the Dreamliner is a key step in our journey to modernise the holiday experience we provide for our customers. Our holidays are expertly designed to suit each customer, and everything from selecting exclusive properties that are only available to Thomson customers, to the in-flight experience has been taken into consideration to ensure customers experience a dream holiday.”

The Thomson Airways Dreamliner

Thomson Airways will operate the Dreamliner from four regional airports from 1st May 2013 – Manchester, London Gatwick, Glasgow and East Midlands, giving holiday makers across the UK the chance to experience the health and well-being benefits the aircraft has to offer. Beginning with long-haul routes to Mexico and Florida, plans are in development to take advantage of the potential reach of the aircraft in the future.

The 787 Dreamliner will revolutionise air travel and leave Thomson Airways customers more relaxed and refreshed than ever before, safe in the knowledge that their journey will be lighter on the environment than typical flights with a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions.

Benefits include unrivalled comfort and wellbeing features on-board; to reduce the effects of jet lag; make for a quieter and smoother flight; and give customers fantastic views ensuring that their holiday begins the moment they step on-board.

Celebrating 50 years of flying

The aircraft, hailed as the greatest advancement in air travel since Concorde in the 1970s, was met in Manchester by Captain Dave Brown and Captain Jim Hawkins who flew the first ever Euravia ‘Lockheed Constellation’ aircraft in 1962. Also witnessing the historical moment was Dave’s wife Janita, who also flew for Euravia as cabin crew in the 1960’s.

Captain Dave Brown said: “It’s been amazing to see the Dreamliner fly today - aircraft have developed so much since I flew for Britannia. This has been a fantastic way to celebrate the anniversary of the airline – it’s particularly special for my wife and I, as we met while flying for Britannia.”


Chris Browne, Managing Director of Thomson Airways; Carl Gissing, Head of Customer Service, Dr Guy Meadows, Director of The Sleep School and original crew members from Britannia and Air 2000 are available for interview at Manchester Airport.

Please register your interest by contacting Claire Borgeat on 01582 648629 or e-mailing

Visit our TUI News room at where the following will be available for download:

Images of the aircraft interior

Images of the new livery

Photos of the original crew

Photos from the event at Manchester

Photos and video footage of the Dreamliner landing

Radio broadcast quality audio clips of Chris Browne and Carl Gissing

Features of the Dreamliner

Better for you

Relaxation is paramount onboard the Dreamliner- from more spacious storage to a healthier cabin environment, the emphasis is on customer comfort and well-being,

ensuring that the journey is enjoyable and becomes part of the holiday.

Reduced travel-related fatigue – Whilst current airliners are pressurised to 8,000ft, the air pressure inside the Dreamliner is equivalent to 6,000 ft, allowing eight per cent more oxygen to be absorbed into the blood meaning customers experience fewer headaches and less dizziness and fatigue.

Reduced jet lag symptoms – The Dreamliner is fitted with a unique LED lighting system which recreates the sunrise and sunset of the customer’s destination. Customers are gradually eased into the time zone change which reduces travel fatigue. Higher humidity levels in the cabin, through the use of advanced materials, reduce symptoms of dryness and dehydration which can cause jet leg.

Good for nervous fliers/air sick customers – The Dreamliner’s unique system senses air

pressure differences and turbulence in advance and then adjusts itself to minimise and any unwelcome side effects. This results in a reduction in motion sickness of up to eight times and a much smoother ride all round.

Breathe cleaner air – The cleanest atmosphere/air of any commercial aircraft due to

the advanced filtration system, known as gaseous filtration, which makes the air cleaner by removing contaminants including unpleasant odours.

Enjoy a quiet ride – Due to quieter engines and state-of-the-art aerodynamics.

Large windows and controllable light – The windows on the Dreamliner are 30% bigger than the average aircraft windows (27x47cm) which will effectively allow every customer a view of the horizon. Electric dimmers on all windows mean customers can determine the degree of light they let in.

More personal space – Wider aisles and seats than any other aircraft (38 cms/15 inches wider than other models) means customers can move around more freely. The tall, dramatically lit entryway creates a sense of the sky overhead and is continued throughout the cabin. The overhead bins are the largest in the industry, allowing all customers to place their bags in the bin above.

Luxury toilets - Offering more space for wheelchair access and baby changing.

Direct long haul travel - Flying up to 8,500 nautical miles (10,000 miles) as fast as comparable current jets, opening up new long haul destinations to Thomson Airways customers. Direct flights also reduce customer through traffic at busy hub airports.

Better for the environment

More fuel efficient - Uses 20 per cent less fuel than today's mid-sized commercial aircraft, in part down to 66 per cent of the aircraft comprising composite material, which is considerably lighter than traditional materials. Other factors influencing the improved overall performance include new engines, more-efficient systems applications and modern aerodynamics.

Reduced emissions – Carbon dioxide (CO2) is produced as a result of fuel consumption. This means that with reduced fuel use there is an equivalent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.

Noise – New engine technology means the aircraft will generate up to 60 per cent less noise pollution during take-off and landing than comparable, current aircraft. The aircraft is not only less noisy in the air, its even quieter on the ground, with its engine sounds of 85dB destined to never leave the airports perimeters.

Point to point travel – The Dreamliner can fly to smaller destinations efficiently (current generation wide bodies can do this but it is not economic to operate them on these routes). Fewer take offs and landings will therefore reduce fuel use and pollution.

Manufacturing waste – Composite airframe means less waste such as aluminium scrap.

Quieter Takeoffs and Landings - the noise footprint of the 787 is more than 60 per cent smaller than similar sized airplanes, an important measure of environmental performance. All sound of above 85 decibels (about the level of loud traffic heard from the side of the road) never leaves the airport boundaries.

Direct travel – Compared to larger jets the midsized Dreamliner is able to operate economically on routes between mid-sized cities, eliminating the need for extra takeoffs and landings, reducing emissions (due to lower fuel consumption) and reducing the total noise footprint.

Reduced waste during manufacturing – Due to the use of carbon fibre composite materials compared to the aluminium used for current aircrafts, which can produce as much as 90 per cent scrap during the manufacturing process.


Head up display – This provides pilots with instrumentation projected directly in front of their field of vision, enabling them to look at the data and approach at the same time.

E-connectivity – The aircraft communicates with engineers and other departments via a wireless network, meaning data can be transferred as the Dreamliner arrives at the gate. This increases safety and cuts maintenance time and costs, with knock on customer benefits.

Electronic flight bag – Computer software providing a vast range of information for pilots on operating the aircraft. Wireless transmission means information can be updated in real time and software will also help pilots to calculate optimum aircraft performance. This replaces heavy on board paper manuals thereby adding to aircraft fuel burn/environmental benefits.

Flight deck presentation (integrated approach navigation) – This technology enables pilots to fly and approach in 3D (currently 2D). Aircraft will guide the pilot on descent, reducing their workload. This system will provide maximum information for pilots to make decisions at critical take off and landing times.


Thomson Press Office


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