Thomson delays Dreamliner launch

5 Mar 2013 by ScottCarey7

Thomson Airways has postponed its planned May 1 launch of B787 Dreamliner flights, as the new aircraft remains grounded for technical reasons.

The leisure carrier originally planned on launching the aircraft on popular summer routes to Orlando and Cancun from May 1 (see online news April, 2012), but will now use existing B767 aircraft for these flights during May and June.

Thomson says it is, “In the process of contacting all customers impacted to inform them that they will now be travelling on Thomson Airways 767 long haul aircraft, which have premium cabins.”

Thomson charged a supplement of £10 per person, per flight, for Dreamliner flights, which will now be refunded to customers who proceed with their original holiday bookings. Customers may also change their travel plans without incurring any amendment fees.

Customers booked in Premium class will receive an additional £80, “as a gesture of goodwill from ourselves to recognise the disappointment of not experiencing the Premium Club within the 787 aircraft,” says Thomson.

The statement goes on to say: “We understand how frustrating and disappointing this news will be for those customers looking forward to flying on the 787 Dreamliner, we are equally as disappointed that Boeing was not able to confirm a delivery date for us but unfortunately these circumstances are out of our control.”

All Boeing Dreamliners have been grounded while the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) conducts safety tests on the onboard batteries.

Other carriers have had to amend their plans for the aircraft, including Qatar Airways’ planned introduction of the aircraft on to its Perth route (see online news January 17) and Japan Airlines’ planned Helsinki route (see online news February 4).

Launch carrier All Nippon Airways (ANA) has postponed all Dreamliner flights until May 31 (see online news February 25).

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Report by Scott Carey

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