Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium (TCAB) makes its last flight Friday night, with a link between Tenerife South and Brussels. For fifteen years, the Belgian airline has taken most customers of Thomas Cook, Neckermann and Pegase on holiday. From Saturday, it is with Brussels Airlines that the vacationers of the tour operator will fly. Brussels Airlines announced at the end of March that it would take over the activities of TCAB, the airline of tour operator Thomas Cook. One hundred and sixty pilots and cabin crew members, two Airbus A320 aircraft and all the slots are handed over to Brussels Airlines at the start of the winter season.
This passing of the torch means the end of the airline Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium, founded in 2002. The last flight takes place in the night from Friday to Saturday. Passengers coming from the island of Tenerife should land at Brussels Airport around 01:30.
With this takeover, Brussels Airlines becomes the most important partner of Thomas Cook. The company will carry 80% of the tour operator’s air passengers, while it was only for 18% of them so far. The take-over of TCAB routes also allows Brussels Airlines to double the number of its “sun” destinations (51).
On Saturday, Brussels Airlines will already take Thomas Cook vacationers to 11 destinations. Festivities are planned, including a flight to the Egyptian resort Hurghada, scheduled to depart at 14:05.
The integration of staff and aircraft is going well, said a Brussels Airlines spokesperson: “The first flights with the former TCAB cabin crew on board are already scheduled“. Since Brussels Airlines also uses A320s, the people concerned only need to learn the specific operating procedures of their new employer. The TCAB pilots are still in training.
A first aircraft (OO-TCV) has already been painted in the colours of Brussels Airlines and is ready to join the fleet. The second aircraft will follow in the coming weeks. As the TCAB aeroplanes are already included in the Belgian aviation register, they will keep a “TC” in their registration.