Goodbye Mr Thomson…The UK finally looses its most recognisable travel brand



With ever-present globalisation trends, the drive to endlessly homogenise the worlds brands, usually in the name of cost savings and alleged ‘customer benefits’, TUI Group finally eradicated the much-loved Thomson branding from its 200 travel agencies and all of its aircraft in the last few weeks.

Roy Thomson established the brand in 1967 from four others, later adding Lunn Poly (I admit my first ever foreign holiday was booked with them in 1983). Eventually all of the sub-brands were incorporated into Thompson as a single brand.


Thompson Travel Group was floated on the stock exchange in 1998 with a value of £1.7 billion and bought out by Preussag of Germany who renamed themselves TUI.

TUI’s acquisition of various holiday brands across Europe had them trading under their own names and liveries for years, until the pan-European brand trend caught up.

Arke fly, Hapag, and others were all subsumed into TUI, with Thomson the final brand to go. That has now happened. 2nd October saw all Thomson aircraft re-registered to the Tui Group.

11 787’s, 33 737’s, 14 757’s and 4 767’s were transferred to TUI Airways Ltd based in London. they retain the TOMSON call sign, ICAO TOM and IATA BY (from Britannia Airways days).

Thomson itself was the result of an endless set of mergers and acquisitions over the years, consuming several airlines and businesses, it to has now been consumed by the same trend.

2nd October 2017 will long be remembered as the year Britain lost two of its most famous travel brands, Monarch and Thomson, bizarrely on the same day, but for very different reasons. One the victim of merciless competition, and the other by the relentless pace of globalisation.