Tuifly is considering entry into the long-haul market


Frankfurt TuiBoss Friedrich Joussen does not want to watch the failure of rival Thomas Cook as the market redistributes. The former Vodafone manager is obviously willing to take financial risk to help consolidate the travel market.

According to information from the Handelsblatt Joussen can imagine, the airline subsidiary Tuifly to provide the necessary funds for the establishment of its own tourist long-haul. This emerges from an internal information of the employee representatives on the Tuifly Supervisory Board, which is available to Handelsblatt.

"We would like to tell you that the Tui Group wants to enable and finance our Tuifly expansion," the letter said. And further: "This also includes an extensive market entry in long-haul traffic with modern aircraft Boeing 787. "

The commitment, however, is linked to one important condition: workers must make concessions to management on costs. "As a Tuifly employee, it must be absolutely clear to us that the parent company Tui in return (…) demands higher productivity from the Tuifly cost reductions," write the employee representatives.

A spokesman for Tuifly confirmed on request that there were appropriate considerations. In the past, there has always been the offer to finance further growth with appropriate cost relief. So far, however, that has failed in the implementation of higher productivity. The spokesman did not want to comment on further details.

However, from the company's environment it can be heard that the first discussions with the employee representatives about possible expansion will take place next week. "Thomas Cook's demise and digitization are creating an unprecedented market upheaval that requires completely new answers, including on the employee side," says one of the company's executives.

One stands the offer quite positively opposite, it is said in employee circles. Also because it is probably not about things like pay cuts. Above all, management has in mind increased productivity, such as that of flying personnel.

"The carrot has never been so close and fresh," says a Tuifly employee. The prospect of going on the long haul is very attractive for pilots. Especially when it happens with a new device like the 787, the so-called Dreamliner. Especially young pilots – many at Tui are very aware of the holiday airline and not about Lufthansa decided – want a long-term perspective for their own development.

The long-haul jet 787 is already in use in the Tui Empire. The 17 aircraft are, however, so far reserved for the British offshoot and are used exclusively in the UK, the Netherlands and Belgium. A long-distance flight from Germany would be a novelty for Tui and Tuifly. But there are strategically good arguments for that.

Tour operators fear too strong Eurowings dependence

After the bankruptcy of Thomas Cook, the market has to completely reorganize – also in the aviation sector. The German Thomas Cook subsidiary Condor continues to fly. But she needs an investor. So far it is unclear whether and to what extent this will also be of interest on Condor's long-haul route. In Frankfurt, for example, it depends heavily on Lufthansa being "fed" with passengers.

The "Hansa" has already started via Eurowings to operate the Condor connections themselves. Anyone who wants to invest in the long-haul Condor must therefore either bring Lufthansa on board or try to work against Europe's largest airlines. A delicate task.

At the same time, tour operators such as DER Touristik, FTI Group, Schauinsland or Alltours, after the bankruptcy of Thomas Cook, are more or less dependent on an airline that can dictate prices: Eurowings. In fact, the Lufthansa offshoot is expected to receive significantly more inquiries from these tour operators in the future. A stronger Tuifly would be an attractive alternative for the travel industry. Accordingly, Tuifly could hope for support from other organizers.

Especially because digitization and new consumer behavior are changing the market massively. Hard-packed travel packages are less and less in demand. Travelers want to put together their own holiday package on the internet – from a variety of options. This requires extensive partnerships in the travel industry. A single organizer can not hold all offers themselves.

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