MIAMI – Today in Aviation, Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium (HQ) was founded in 2001. Its final flight from Tenerife (TFS) took place on October 27, 2017.
The Thomas Cook Group created the airline to tap into the Belgian leisure market and serve holiday destinations outside the European Union. Initially, the Thomas Cook Group planned on taking over the bankrupt Belgian charter carrier CityBird (H2). However, the deal later fell through.
Operations commenced on March 13, 2002, with a flight from Brussels (BRU) to the Canary Islands. Five 180-seat Airbus A320s were transferred over from JMC Air (MT). 50 ex-pilots from the defunct Belgian flag carrier Sabena (SN) were recruited by the airline.
Tickets on the carrier’s flights could at first only be purchased through travel agents. But from January 2004 individual seats began to be sold via the airline’s website.
In March 2013, the airline was brought under a single management structure, Thomas Cook Airlines Group (TCAG), as the parent company looked at restructuring its business to cut costs. Previously the various airline arms Thomas Cook UK (MT), Thomas Cook Scandinavia (DK), and Condor (DE) in Germany were managed independently.
An additional restructuring took place in March 2017 after management announced that HQ was to be sold to Brussels Airlines (SN). Two of the airline’s A320s were transferred to SN along with 160 pilots and flight attendants. Its three remaining aircraft moved across to other TCAG members.
Featured image: Airbus A320 (OO-TCN) pictured landing at Brussels Zaventem International Airport (BRU). (Photo: Peter Bakema (GFDL 1.2 or GFDL 1.2 ), via Wikimedia Commons)