**Please note, First Choice Airways has merged with ThomsonFly to form Thomson Airways**
Part of a well established brand name
The dedicated charter airline of parent company TUI Travel plc, First Choice Airways was originally established in 1987 under the name Air 2000 and from modest beginnings became one of the most successful charter airlines operating in the UK within a few short years. First Choice Holidays, later to be integrated into TUI with Thomson holidays, saw the airline's potential and acquired Air 2000 with an eventual re-branding exercise taking place in 2004, named First Choice Airways. It operated primarily as the carrier for TUI holidays and as a provider for a host of other UK tour operators for many years.
In 2008, First Choice Holidays PLC merged with TUI AG to form TUI Travel. ThomasFly and First Choice Airways were merged to form Thomson Airways. For flights to routes formerly operated by First Choice Airways, you should now see Thomson Airways selection of destinations.
Route network and fleet size
Its main bases were at Manchester and London Gatwick, whilst it also served Exeter, Glasgow, East Midlands, Bristol and Leeds Bradford. First Choice Airways flew to a wide range of ski, sunshine and city break destinations in Europe which included Palma de Mallorca, Larnaca, Geneva, Las Palmas, Grenoble, Faro, Corfu and several routes in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Caribbean. The First Choice Airways fleet consisted of 27 aircraft, which were made up of Airbus A320-200's, Boeing 757-200's and 767-300ER's with a total of six planes flying long haul routes.
Partnering well known reputable tour operators
Apart from its main business as the official airline for TUI holidays, it also had scheduled year-round routes to Cyprus, Spain and Portugal. Long haul services were sold through the TUI portfolio of specialist tour operators such as First Choice Holidays, Unijet, Hayes and Jarvis and Sunsail and the company also ran winter season round-the-world itineraries in conjunction with luxury tour operator TCS Expeditions. Passengers and especially children could enjoy special Disney themed flights to Orlando Sanford International Airport due to an exclusive agreement with the Disney Corporation.
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