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First long haul Thomson 787 Dreamliner flight takes off from Gatwick Airport

  • Date:
  • 09/07/13

Tuesday 9 July 2013: Thomson Airways, the first UK airline to fly the new state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliner today celebrated the departure of the inaugural long haul flight to Cancun. Mexico from Gatwick airport.

Thomson operated flight TOM030 with its brand new 787 plane which departed Gatwick Airport today with 291 customers on board. It was the first long haul 787 Dreamliner flight to depart London Gatwick.

The Dreamliner is set to revolutionise air travel and leave holidaymakers more relaxed and refreshed than ever before, with comfort and wellbeing features on-board reducing the effects of jet-lag. It can also fly much further distances than similar-sized aircraft and is more environmentally friendly, using 20% less fuel.

Thomson Airways will fly the state-of-the-art aircraft from Gatwick on long haul routes to Sanford, Florida and Cancun in Mexico this summer. From 1 November the Thomson 787 Dreamliner will also operate the only direct flight to Phuket, Thailand from Gatwick. For summer 14 Thomson will also be introducing Mauritius and Puerto Vallarta from the airport.

Chris Browne, Managing Director of Thomson Airways comments:

“After much anticipation we are delighted to celebrate the first long haul flight from Gatwick. This is a key milestone for the company and as the first airline in the UK to take delivery we hope our customers will enjoy the unique experience of this revolutionary aircraft.

“The introduction of the Dreamliner is a major milestone in our journey of modernising the holiday experience. Customers travelling from Gatwick will be amazed at the unique look, feel and service – all of which will ensure the Thomson holiday experience starts as soon as they step on board this fabulous new aircraft.

“The extended flying range of the Dreamliner also unlocks a host of new and exciting holiday options for our customers, increasing the range of long haul destinations available with Thomson Airways, from four UK airports this summer.”

Matt Wood, Head of Airline Relations at London Gatwick, said: “We are delighted to welcome the first scheduled Thomson Dreamliner to London Gatwick today. This is an exciting milestone for us as this innovative aircraft offers our airlines even more potential to create new long haul routes in the future from Gatwick. We look forward to continuing this success and we continue to work closely with all of our airlines to provide the best passenger experience.”

The Thomson 787 Dreamliner will carry 291 passengers. Premium Club will seat 47 in a 2-3-2 configuration, each with a 38” pitch, and Economy Club will seat 244 in a 3-3-3 configuration, each with an industry leading 33” or 34” pitch.

Thomson Airways will be taking delivery of eight Boeing 787 Dreamliners in total, up to May 2015.

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Notes to Editors

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Visit our online news room at where the following will be available for download:

Images of the aircraft interior

Images of the new livery

Photos of the aircraft departing Gatwick Photos of Chris Browne, Managing Director of Thomson Airways


Thomson Airways, the airline for Thomson and First Choice, is the UK’s third largest airline and forms part of the TUI Travel PLC group.

With a fleet of 57 aircraft consisting of Boeing 737,757,767, it serves 22 UK airports taking over five million customers away each year and operates to 88 destinations in 30 countries.


TUI UK and Ireland is the UK’s largest tour operator. Key brands include Thomson and First Choice, who between them account for half of the mainstream market within the UK and Thomson Cruises. Sub brands include Sensatori, Thomson Couples, Thomson Family Resorts, First Choice Holiday Villages and SplashWorld resorts. TUI UK and Ireland’s airline, Thomson Airways is the UK’s third largest airline with 57 aircraft and employs over 4,000 people in the UK and Ireland including approximately 780 pilots and 2,600 cabin crew, operating to over 88 destinations in 30 countries. Thomson Airways was will be the first airline in the UK to take delivery of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, and will be flying this on selected long haul routes from 8th July 2013.

TUI UK and Ireland employ a team of 17,000 employees and serve over 5.5 million customers each year. Thomson and First Choice currently have from around 750 retail shops across the UK.


Thomson Press Office


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