As part of an expanded long-haul programme in 2015, Thomas Cook Airlines UK has revealed it will offer a one-off service from Cardiff Airport to the United States, its first long-haul flight from the Welsh capital for several years. The single flight will operate between Cardiff and Orlando on August 28, 2015 and will offer holidays for 14 night duration.
Thomas Cook Airlines UK is part of the Thomas Cook Group and operates over from 20 airports across the UK, carrying 6.7 million passengers to over 50 short-, medium- and long haul airports with over 200 holiday destinations including North America, the Caribbean Sea and India, as well as resorts across Europe.
This year the airline received six brand new Airbus A321s and introduced new routes and frequencies across its short and medium haul schedule – this is set to continue next year with a further three A321 aircraft delivered from Airbus and additional frequencies from across the airline’s 10 UK bases.
But, with a larger and refurbished A330 fleet, offering a brand new Premium service, it is the long-haul market where notable strides have been made over recent years. It launched new routes to the Caribbean from Manchester in November 2013, and announced more flights and new destinations from Stansted Airport in Summer 2014.
In May this year, the airline announced new routes from May 2015 to New York and Miami from Manchester. As well as carrying Thomas Cook package holiday customers, the airline retails seat only sales on all of its flights.
Launched earlier in 2014, and including the already-announced JFK (three times a week) and Miami (twice a week) from Manchester starting in May 2015, new flights also include school holiday summer flights from Stansted to Orlando, Cancun and Las Vegas as well as a new weekly service next summer from Glasgow to Las Vegas. Thomas Cook Airlines will also take holidaymakers on three long haul flights from Belfast International Airport for Summer 2015 to Orlando and Las Vegas, the latter being the airlines’ first ever flight to Las Vegas from the airport.
In addition to the previously announced new routes, Thomas Cook Airlines has confirmed further Belfast flights to Orlando next summer, more than doubling additional capacity. The extra flights will depart on Fridays for 14 nights on its latest A330-200 with 49 Premium and 265 economy seats on June 26, July 3 & September 3, adding to the existing scheduled flights on June 30 & July 7.
For the Scottish half term, the airline has also added two more Glasgow to Orlando flights on October 2, 2015 and October 9, 2015. This will mean on these dates there will be two flights departing to Orlando, with the new services due to be operated with the A330 fitted with the 49-seat Premium cabin.
The growth of its long-haul network will be facilitated by the arrival of an additional A330-200. This six-year old aircraft currently operated by Colombian carrier Avianca will join the Thomas Cook fleet in June 2015 after cabin refurbishment.
With this latest addition to the Thomas Cook Airlines fleet for Summer 2015, there will seven A330 aircraft operating in the UK, with five in Manchester (also serving Belfast and Cardiff), one in Gatwick and the previously announced brand new A330 Air Tanker aircraft which will operate to the USA and Mexico from Glasgow and Stansted.
“The increase in long haul aircraft will ensure customers have a broader range of destinations and frequencies to choose from when looking for flights further afield, helping our customers take advantage of the abolition of APD for the under 12’s from next May,” said Christoph Debus, chief air travel officer, Thomas Cook Group.
“We’ve added a range of new routes to our schedule, as well as more frequencies to the most popular destinations meaning we can offer even more options – with flights in comfort on our brand new cabins with our brand new long haul service for both Economy and Premium customers,” he added.