Inaugural Thomson 787 Dreamliner flight takes off from Glasgow Airport

Monday 8 July 2013: Thomson Airways, the first UK airline to fly the new state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliner today celebrated the departure of the inaugural long haul flight to Cancun, Mexico from Glasgow airport.

thomson1Thomson operated flight TOM 518 with its brand new 787 plane which departed Glasgow Airport at 09:40am with 291 customers on board – its first ever transatlantic flight since taking delivery in May. The occasion was celebrated in true Scottish style with customers welcomed at the gate with bagpipers and Highland dancers.

The Dreamliner is set to revolutionise air travel and leave holidaymakers more relaxed and refreshed than ever before, with comfort and wellbeing features on-board reducing the effects of jet-lag. It can also fly much further distances than similar-sized aircraft and is more environmentally friendly, using 20% less fuel.

Thomson Airways will fly the state-of-the-art aircraft from Glasgow on long haul routes to Sanford, Florida and Cancun in Mexico, and will add Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic to its service from summer 2014. The aircraft will also fly from London Gatwick, Manchester and East Midlands airports.

Chris Browne, Managing Director of Thomson Airways comments: “After much anticipation we are delighted to welcome the 787 Dreamliner to Glasgow. This is a key milestone for the company and as the first airline in the UK to take delivery we hope our customers will enjoy the unique experience of this revolutionary aircraft.

“The introduction of the Dreamliner is a major milestone in our journey of modernising the holiday experience. Customers travelling from Glasgow will be amazed at the unique look, feel and service – all of which will ensure the Thomson holiday experience starts as soon as they step on board this fabulous new aircraft.

“The extended flying range of the Dreamliner also unlocks a host of new and exciting holiday options for our customers, increasing the range of long haul destinations available with Thomson Airways, from four UK airports this summer.”

Amanda McMillan, Managing Director of Glasgow Airport, said: “To be the first airport in Scotland to welcome the Dreamliner is a tremendous honour and something we’re extremely proud of. Not only with the new state-of-the-art aircraft offer passengers a unique flying experience, it will open up new possibilities for the long haul market from Glasgow Airport and we are looking forward to working with Thomson to ensure the Dreamliner realises its full potential.”

Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon said: “It is exciting to see the 787 Dreamliner make its first flight from Scotland and I am sure that all of those on board will have the best start to their holiday.

“We want to see more direct long haul flights from Scottish airports and having this state of the art aircraft depart from Glasgow is very encouraging, especially as this aircraft is suited to routes from regional airports because of its long range.”

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan added: “Glasgow Airport has a proud history of pioneering aviation developments and this is another important milestone. The first flight of the Dreamliner in Scotland is a notable event in itself and, in the longer term, will boost travel options for passengers and strengthen the economic impact of Glasgow Airport in the regional and national economy. This is very positive news.”

The Thomson 787 Dreamliner will carry 291 passengers. Premium Club will seat 47 in a 2-3-2 configuration, each with a 38” pitch, and Economy Club will seat 244 in a 3-3-3 configuration, each with an industry leading 33” or 34” pitch.

Thomson Airways will be taking delivery of eight Boeing 787 Dreamliners in total, up to May 2015. Thomson’s first long-haul Dreamliner flights will operate from Manchester to Florida and Glasgow to Cancun, today, 8th July.

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