LONDON – British holiday airline TUI Airways has this morning announced a huge expansion at Glasgow Airport to include 170,000 more seats for the 2020 flying schedule.

TUI Airways B737

TUI is one of the largest tour operators in Europe with divisions in Germany, Sweden, The Netherlands and Belgium, serving over 80 destinations in 30 countries.

The TUI we know today can trace its origins back to the early 1960s. A series of accusations, rebranding and buyouts over fifty years has created the holiday giant of the 21st century.

Traditional the TUI group specialised package holidays, cruise holidays and charter work.

In the last decade, however, in an attempt to keep up with the surge of low-cost airlines, TUI or Thomson Airways as it was known then moved from purely charter flights and has operated a hybrid model successfully for many years, offering everything from flight only packages to all-inclusive holidays.

Following the demise of the much loved holiday firm Thomas Cook in September 2019 there was always going to be a void in the market to fill.

Which is where TUI have muscled in on the vacant slots at Glasgow Airport to provide increased frequencies on existing routes and two new routes as well as some minor changes to the package deals currently offering more flexibility for Scottish passengers to enjoy a holiday abroad.

TUI Airways B787 Dreamliner

TUI has announced two new routes from Glasgow to Bodrum (Turkey) and Glasgow to Fuerteventura (Canary Islands) as well as additional flying days to existing destinations including Cancun (Mexico), Dalaman (Turkey), Palma (Spain) and Tenerife (Canary Islands).

Combined with a new range of package options to suit everyone including the traditional seven and 14 night holidays, a new 10 and 11 night stay option has been added to eight existing holiday destinations including Orlando (Florida), Antalya (Turkey) and Zakynthos (Greece), providing additional choice and flexibility for customers to create dream holiday in 2020.

TUI UK & Ireland’s Director of Aviation Planning, Karen Switzer commented on the new additions expressing delight over further options for the consumer.

“Earlier this month TUI announced an additional two million seats to many holiday destination favourites and today the majority of these seats go on sale for summer 2020.”

“We are delighted that our new additions launched today provide holidaymakers departing from our regional airports with even more choice when deciding where to go next summer on holiday.”

“The customer is at the heart of everything we do and this additional growth to some of our customer’s favourite holiday hotspots demonstrates our continued commitment for people to discover their smile with us.”

PHOTO: Boeing.

Paul White, Head of Aviation at Glasgow Airport, also commented on the news, expressing how beneficial this TUI investment is to the airport.

“TUI’s announcement today is fantastic news for Glasgow Airport and is to be commended. Given the events of recent weeks, there was clearly a need to meet the huge demand out there for some of our most popular destinations.”

“TUI has stepped in with the introduction of a phenomenal number of seats and even more choice to a wide range of destinations, which will be welcome news for our passengers planning their 2020 holidays.”

It is clear that TUI has committed to serving Scottish passengers in Glasgow city and the surrounding suburbs with the exciting expansion for 2020, no doubt also filling the void left by the collapse of Thomas Cook.

It is also nice to see a regional airport offering both European and long haul destinations bringing people and holidays closer together than ever before.

On top of this, in the uncertainty thanks to the likes of BREXIT, it is reassuring consumer confidence into the UK market and beyond.

With the 737MAX’s also grounded in its fleet, the route growth signifies that TUI is relatively unphased, otherwise it would have cut routes accordingly.

Only time will tell whether this investment will pay off and whether we could see further growth out of the other UK operations that TUI runs.