Following very quickly on the heels of the Skyservice shut down, Thomas Cook Canada and Jazz Air have signed a flight services agreement for Jazz to operate flights to the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America on behalf of Thomas Cook’s tour operator Sunquest Vacations. The agreement is conditional on Jazz obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals.
The agreement is effective November 1st, 2010, to serve the winter vacation season of 2010/2011 and may extend for up to five years. Jazz will operate a fleet of up to 11 B757 jets from gateways across Canada and will be branded as Thomas Cook Airlines from January 2011. Thomas Cook spokeswoman Jill Wykes told the Financial Post that the 757-200 aircraft were chosen because they are currently owned or leased by Thomas Cook's parent company in the U.K., which needs a Canadian partner to operate the aircraft on its behalf in Canada due to federal foreign ownership regulations here.
Jazz currently flies to more than 80 destinations in North America – more than any other carrier in the country. It has a commercial agreement to operate flights on behalf of Air Canada across Canada and into the United States. Jazz has more than 4,900 employees serving more than 8.8 million passengers, and had revenues of $1.4 billion in 2009.
“We’re extremely proud to be partnering with Jazz to offer our passengers high-quality in-flight services as part of the full Sunquest vacation experience,” said Michael Friisdahl, Chief Executive Officer, Thomas Cook North America, which is a division of Thomas Cook Group plc, (one of the world’s largest leisure travel companies with annual sales of more than $13 billion). “Jazz is recognized and respected across Canada and has the highest on-time performance among Canadian carriers. They share our values emphasizing safety, service, integrity and environmental responsibility. Through the combined operational and financial strength of Thomas Cook and Jazz, we will offer Sunquest customers innovative and dependable vacation packages.”
“We are delighted that Thomas Cook has selected Jazz as its flying partner. Thomas Cook and Sunquest are known for their exacting customer service standards and we look forward to giving those customers an outstanding and seamless flying experience,” said Joe Randell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Jazz Air LP. “The opportunity to satisfy Thomas Cook and its customers is integral to our growth and diversification strategy.”
Through the Thomas Cook Airline brand, operated by Jazz Air LP, Sunquest will be able to offer service from a wider range of Canadian communities to sun destinations. Further details on products and services, resulting from the partnership with Jazz, will be announced in the near future.