TUI, Europe's leading travel group and owner of Thomson Holidays, will enter the low-cost airline sector this year with the new brand name “Hapag-Lloyd Express it announced yesterday. It will fly from Cologne/Bonn airport and serve European and domestic routes. A new 100 per cent subsidiary of TUI AG will be responsible for sales and operations. TUI AG executive board chairman, Dr. Michael Frenzel said ”With 'Hapag–Lloyd Express' we will take up a leading position among the low–cost carriers thanks to a streamlined cost and organisational structure, a market-oriented price and distribution strategy, and clear route selection within Europe.” The home airport will be Cologne/Bonn. Flights will start from here from the beginning of December. Destinations include attractive cities such as Barcelona, Milan, Paris and Rome. The route network is initially planned to include around 10 European destinations, such as Palma eventually. The benchmark prices are market-oriented and lie within a range from Euro 10,- per person per innerGerman route and from Euro 25,- per person for European routes. A passenger volume of around 1.3 million is planned in the first full financial year. ork will be carried out in the coming weeks to create the distribution structures because the flights will already be bookable by the middle of October. The tickets for “Hapag–Lloyd Express” will not only be sold via the internet and call centres. TUI AG, the world's leading tourism group registered in Hanover and Berlin, encompasses 81 tour operator brands throughout Europe with around 22 million customers per year. The Group also includes 3'715 travel agencies, 32 destination agencies, and carriers with 88 aircraft, including well known brands such as Hapag–Lloyd Flug and Britannia Airways.

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