DALLAS — Today the last TUI Airways (BY) Boeing 767 departed from Manchester Airport after almost 40 years of operations. The multinational leisure airline has completed the retirement of the legendary aircraft this week, ending an era and giving way to newer and more efficient planes like the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
The whole TUI Group, which has been operating since 1984, had a total of 35 Boeing 767 units distributed along its British, Dutch, or Nordic subsidiaries. Today, almost all of them have replaced their long-haul fleets with the new-generation Boeing 787 Dreamliner in both 787-8 and 787-9 variants.
The last airframe, G-OBYF, performed its last commercial leg from Heraklion Airport (HER) in Greece to Manchester Airport (MAN) yesterday. The flight operated as BY2243 and landed 15 minutes past midnight in the UK.
At the moment of writing, the same airplane has just taken off bound for Istanbul (SAW), presumably for conversion to start a new life flying as a cargo aircraft, just like most of the former Boeing 757 fleet from the airline.
The Legacy left by the Boeing 767
The Boeing 767 has been a staple in TUI’s fleet for almost 40 years. The first airframe was delivered to the predecessor brand, Britannia Airways, on February 6, 1984. This unit, G-BKVZ, was still one of the shorter 767-200 variants, of which the airline ended up flying 13 total jets.
From then on, BY’s 767s lived a crazy operation full of quick transfers between subsidiaries, as demand trends for leisure travel among the different countries varied as the years went by.
The last 767 to leave the fleet, G-OBYF, saw its ownership change up to eight different times inside the TUI Group in less than 20 years, flying for Britannia, Thomson, TUIfly, and TUIfly Nordic, among others. However, the indisputable aging of the aircraft, added to the rising fuel costs and the elevation of flying standards, forced TUI to end operations with the 767.
In the end, to remain competitive, airlines need to say goodbye to legendary jets to make space for new players to enter the game. Have you ever had the chance to fly the airline’s Boeing 767? What was your experience? Let us know your thoughts on our social media platforms!
Featured image: Adrian Nowakowski/Airways.