Thomson and First Choice phased out in Tui Travel rebrand

A Thomson store Image copyright PA

The travel firm Tui is dropping the Thomson and First Choice travel brands in a revamp of its business.

Tui plans to sell its holidays under a single brand in a move that follows the merger of the UK business with its German parent. It will take up to three years to complete.

The two brands have more than five million customers, with the Canary Islands, Balearic Islands and Greece the most popular destinations.

The Thomson name dates back to 1965.

Tui has 30 million customers, as well as more than 300 hotels, 136 planes and 1,800 shops across Europe.

Its joint chief executive, Peter Long, said the firm would begin phasing out other European regional brands in the Netherlands and France first.

The UK's First Choice and Thomson, which was set up by Canadian media baron Roy Thomson, will be the last brands to go because of their size.

The move was announced along with Tui's results, which showed its half-year losses narrowed to 272.6m euros (£195.5m) from 341.4m last time.

Like other travel businesses, Tui traditionally makes a loss in the less-busy winter period.

Bookings for the summer season were picking up nicely, said the company, with long-haul destinations doing better.

Jamaica is popular this year, bookings are up 22% on last year, and Mexico is also attracting more visitors, up 37% over the same period.

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