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TUI fly Boeing 737 (photo: © Thorbjørn Brunander Sund, danishaviationphoto.com)

TUI abandons its own Nordic charter flights

The tour operator plans to allow Jet Time and Norwegian to carry out flights, closing its bases in Malmö, Oslo and Helsinki.

The tour operator TUI currently uses its own airline TUIfly Nordic for charter flights from the Nordic countries to European destinations, supplemented by capacity from external airlines.

TUIfly Nordic has five aircraft – four Boeing 737-800s and a new Boeing 737 MAX 8 – which are based in Oslo, Copenhagen, Malmö and Helsinki.

Now, however, TUI wants to achieve greater flexibility, so it is planned that capacity for European departures will be purchased externally.

This means the tour operator plans to close the bases in Malmö, Helsinki and Oslo and instead buy the production from Jet Time and Norwegian.

“In order to meet our customers’ wishes – and to operate our business as efficiently as possible – it is our desire to move our short-haul air operations to external airlines in Copenhagen, Helsinki and Oslo. The proposed changes will not affect our customers’ planned travels,” explains Alexander Huber, managing director of TUI Nordic.

Job losses
The planned closure of the three bases also means that 150 employees there will be left without jobs, prompting negotiations between TUI and the relevant unions.

“It is important for us to maintain our own airline. But we must also run our business so that it makes sense for our customers and from a commercial and operational perspective,” said John Murphy, managing director of TUI.

The closure will affect only short-haul flights in Europe. TUI uses more than 150 aircraft in Europe, 17 of which are Boeing 787s, making it one of the largest Dreamliner fleets in Europe. TUI’s own airline flies about half of the production, while the other half is left to external suppliers.

Jet Time confirms that dialogue with TUI has been initiated, with Birthe Madsen, director for business development telling Check-in.dk: “It is important to emphasise that these are only plans and that it is a process that has started. It will be an interesting opportunity for us if something happens. We already fly for TUI from Copenhagen and Helsinki, so we want to be seen as an obvious partner.”

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