News in brief

More charter flights and a new tour operator

German airlines are adding more flights while an ex-Thomas Cook tourism executive has launched an online tour operator.

October 05, 2017
Small Planet Airlines is flying high with more full charter contracts
Photo: Small Planet

Charter carrier Small Planet Airlines is getting bigger and will expand from five to 10 planes next year after winning more full charter contracts from German tour operators. Both FTI and DER Touristik have agreed capacity deals with the airline following on from TUI and Thomas Cook, which already use it on routes from regional airports.

For FTI, Small Planet will operate one A320 from Hanover to Egypt and Malta this winter, and operate another Airbus from several German airports to Hurghada and Marsa Alam. The airline’s other two planes in the winter season will fly for TUI from Paderborn and for Thomas Cook from Amsterdam this winter. In summer 2018, the colourful leisure airline will fly for DER Touristik from Düsseldorf and Hamburg to Greece and Spain, for TUI from Leipzig to the two countries along with other routes for other tour operators.

Eurowings will launch long-haul flights from Cologne/Bonn to Cape Town from November. In addition, the Lufthansa subsidiary will operate feeder flights to Munich and London-Heathrow for South African Airways flights to Johannesburg under a new partnership agreement.

Former Thomas Cook Germany chief Michael Tenzer has launched a new tour operator named Viamonda.de, offering online bookings of long-haul holidays, mostly in Asia. The new company enables customers to assemble individual holidays from a wide range of offers, hotels, flights and additional products.

TUI’s cultural holidays specialist Gebeco is expanding its programme for 2018 after a “positive and satisfactory year” with “slight growth”, according to managing director Ury Steinweg. New for 2018 are more combined holidays with cruises on all TUI Cruises ships, more active holidays and several new destinations in Africa. The tour operator had sales of about €116 million and 60,000 customers last year but has not disclosed figures for this year.

DER Touristik has now opened up the bulk of its summer 2018 programme for travel agency and consumer bookings. This includes most of the long-haul programme along with about 60% of the group’s hotel portfolio for southern and south-eastern Europe.

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