TUIfly to connect Hamburg to the Caribbean

European tour operator TUI has announced a notable expansion of its leisure network from Hamburg Airport in Germany for the winter 2013/2014 schedule with the introduction of a number of new non-stop, long-haul markets.  The company’s local airline division TUIfly will acquire its first widebodied aircraft, a single Boeing 767-300, from its Dutch affiliate, Arkefly, for use on the new routes.

In the winter schedule TUIfly will introduce twice weekly flights from Hamburg to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic and Cancun on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula as well as alternate weekly services to Barbados and to La Romana in the Dominican Republic.  The full charter services from Hamburg represent an additional capacity of 35,000 seats that TUI is bringing to the northern German market over the winter season, starting in November 2013.

“Long-haul travel is the future.  We see great growth potential here and want to further expand our market share, currently around 15 per cent,” said Christian Clemens, chief executive officer, TUI Deutschland.  “Our choice of Hamburg as departure airport was very deliberate.  We have a unique selling proposition here, because there are, to date, no non-stop long-haul flights from Hamburg to the Caribbean or Mexico.”

“Our choice of Hamburg as departure airport was very deliberate.  We have a unique selling proposition here, because there are, to date, no non-stop long-haul flights from Hamburg to the Caribbean or Mexico.”

Christian Clemens
Chief Executive Officer, TUI Deutschland

With these new long-haul services, TUI is engaging with a notable demand from such destinations from Hamburg Airport.  A significant number of passengers per year fly from Hamburg to the Caribbean via connecting flights and with the new direct services, this volume of passengers is certain to increase significantly as the arrival of non-stop services further stimulates the market.  According to MIDT data 37,000 bi-directional O&D passengers flew between the airport and the Caribbean in 2012 with the largest markets in the region being Punta Cana, Havana and Santo Domingo.

“We are absolutely delighted by TUI’s commitment and convinced that passengers from northern Germany will take advantage of this new service,” said Michael Eggenschwiler, chief executive officer, Hamburg Airport.  TUIfly will use a 265-seat Boeing 767-300 on the new long-haul flights configured in a two-class arrangement with an Economy and Comfort (Premium Economy) class product.

According to a February 2013 survey conducted by TUI and research institute TNS Emnid, one in four Germans is interested in taking advantage of long-haul travel if the right holiday packages and flight options are available.  According to the tour operator demand for its winter flights is already up 30 per cent on last year with record booking levels for the season.  Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic and the Riviera Maya in Mexico are among TUI’s most important long-haul destinations.  With a 16 per cent share of TUI’s long-haul business, the Dominican Republic was the clear leader during its 2011/2012 schedule. 

Alongside the positioning of a single 767-300 at Hamburg, TUIfly will also station a single 737-800 in the German city to serve nine popular medium and short-haul destinations comprising Arrecife, Boa Vista, Sal, Fuerteventura, Las Palmas, Palma de Mallorca, Salzburg, Tenerife and Jerez.  According to last year’s schedule data TUIfly had a 2.1 per cent share of the available capacity from Hamburg Airport, ranking it as the eleventh largest carrier at the facility.

In the table below we highlight the largest operators at Hamburg Airport based on available seats last year.  The market is dominated by Germany’s two main carriers, Lufthansa and airberlin although the latter has significantly reduced its activities over the past two years.  Overall capacity from Hamburg Airport was down in 2012 although international carriers such as Emirates Airlines, KLM and Turkish Airlines (THY) boosted their own activities, as well as pan-European low-cost carrier easyJet.  TUIfly’s own capacity reduced in 2012, down 11.9 per cent on 2011 and 8.6 per cent on 2010, although its plans for winter 2013/2014 will see it return to growth this year.

SCHEDULED AIR CAPACITY FROM HAMBURG AIRPORT (non-stop annual departures; 2012)




Seat Capacity

% Total Capacity

% Change (Vs 2011)

% Change (Vs 2010)


Lufthansa (LH)



39.6 %

1.8 %

6.1 %


airberlin (AB)



21.4 %

(-18.9) %

(-23.5) %


Emirates Airline (EK)



3.1 %

47.8 %

79.0 %


Condor (DE)



3.0 %

(-2.8) %

3.3 %


Air France (AF)



2.9 %

5.0 %

(-0.1) %


easyJet (U2)



2.8 %

35.8 %

70.1 %


Swiss International Air Lines (LX)



2.7 %

2.9 %

17.2 %


British Airways (BA)



2.7 %

9.4 %

11.4 %


KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (KL)



2.6 %

40.4 %

45.5 %


Turkish Airlines (TK)



2.4 %

31.2 %

64.8 %





(-2.3) %

(-1.7) %