Tui plans to plug gap left by Monarch Airlines collapse by upping its flights

Rebecca Smith
Tui has ditched its Thomson name
Tui has ditched its Thomson name (Source: Getty)

Package tour operator Tui is trying to help plug the gap left by collapsed airline Monarch by upping the number of flights it is offering.

Tui's UK and Ireland managing director Nick Longman said the firm had laid on extra flights so far, and plans to add more.

"There will be an opportunity to look at putting some new routes onto the market. We've already done that a little for this winter," Longman told Reuters at an event to announce Tui's rebranding of its UK operation from Thomson to Tui UK.

He added that Tui is also looking into the possibility of more routes for next summer.

Read more: British Airways owner IAG eyeing collapsed Monarch's Gatwick slots

While the likes of British Airways owner IAG and EasyJet eye Monarch's Gatwick slots, Longman said Tui will look to bolster capacity from its existing slot base, and by working with other airline partners.

IAG boss Willie Walsh said last week: "I think everybody's interested in slots at Gatwick, and that would principally be our interest as well."

Norwegian's chief executive Bjorn Kjos also said he would be interested, though "it depends on the price".

Monarch ceased trading at the beginning of the month, after losing the sector's tough price battle, while terrorism concerns buffeted demand too.

The collapse prompted a mass repatriation programme costing £60m according to the Civil Aviation Authority, with transport secretary Chris Grayling saying earlier this week that Monarch's owner should chip in on the bill.

Grayling told the Transport Select Committee that Greybull Capital may feel "a moral obligation to contribute" and that if any of the creditors ended up with money in pocket, they might consider contributing.

"I'm sure we would like to encourage social responsibility," he added.

Greybull said in response: "We agree with the secretary of state that it is too early in the administration process for anyone to know the outcome for creditors. We have acted responsibly and with integrity throughout the process. "

Read more: Tui boss warns Brexit could take 10 years

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