TUI Group shakes up airline ops, jobs may go in Germany

Thursday, 5 February 2015 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: Plans by travel and tourism company TUI Group to shake up its airline operations are likely to lead to hundreds of job losses in Hanover, Germany, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. TUI Group, the world’s largest leisure and tourism company was formed from the merger of London-listed TUI Travel and majority owner TUI AG last year. TUI plans to better coordinate its fragmented airline operations, including TUIfly, Jetairfly and Thomson Airways, in the light of competition from the likes of easyJet, Ryanair, Norwegian and Vueling. As part of the shake-up, the group is planning to use the platform of UK-based Thomson Airways as the base for the combined airline operations, with administration and some of the maintenance activities to be in Britain, the three sources said. The efforts to save more than 100 million euros ($114 million) mean around 400-500 jobs out of more than 2,000 jobs could be lost at TUIfly’s base in Hanover and could draw measures such as strikes or legal action from unions, they said. “It makes sense to draw synergies from combining activities such as fuel purchasing, aircraft leasing and administration of TUIfly Germany, Thomson Airways, TUIfly Nordic, Jetairfly and Arkefly,” one of the sources said. “But why use the platform with the highest cost base?” A spokesman for TUI said it was looking at various business models to strengthen the airline operations under the leadership of CEO Henrik Homann, but that no decision had yet been taken and could be some time off. TUI’s Corsair, the French airline which mainly serves customers flying to French overseas territories, is not included in the plans to bundle the airlines together. Instead, TUI is in discussions with parties interested in buying the airline, although nothing has been decided, the spokesman said.