Thomson holds firm on Dreamliner UK launch plan

Thomson, which is set to be the first UK operator to fly Boeing's new Dreamliner airplane this spring, is planning to stick with its launch communications strategy despite recent safety scares.

Thomson, which is set to be the first UK operator to fly Boeing's new Dreamliner airplane this spring, is planning to stick with its launch communications strategy despite recent safety scares.

The Dreamliner aircraft, which has already been plagued by delays, hit the headlines this week with three safety incidents since Monday.

On Monday, a fire broke out on a stationary Dreamliner at Boston's Logan airport, 15 minutes after passengers left the aircraft. 

Japan's All Nippon Airways cancelled a flight due to brake problems a day after Japan Airways cancelled its Boston-to-Tokyo flight when a Dreamliner spilled around 40 gallons of fuel.

Boeing has issued a statement about the US incident, saying it was “working closely” with the National Transportation Safety Board and other customer and government agencies in the US as part of an investigation into the incident.

The aircraft is set to be introduced to the UK in May by TUI-owned Thomson Airways, which has already run advertising vaunting the Dreamliner using the line: “Be the first to fly on the plane everyone's talking about – only with Thomson.”

Speaking to PRWeek yesterday, TUI head of external communications Fiona Jennings said the recent Dreamliner incidents had “not made a difference” in PR plans for the launch of the aircraft.

Jennings said TUI, which works with Hill+Knowlton Strategies, has no plans to change its upcoming PR activity to promote the aircraft, which is set to launch March 4. 

She added that the travel operator has had “no feedback from customers that they have any concerns.”

Jennings promised the coming months would see Thomson “keeping up momentum” with previous work and highlighting the new plane as a key component in its commitment to “modernizing the holiday experience.”

TUI also issued the following statement: “Having checked with Boeing, we have no reason to believe the delivery of our first 787 Dreamliner will be delayed. Our first Thomson Dreamliner is still on track to be delivered early this year. Boeing has reassured us that they are taking action to rectify the issues highlighted to them.”

Boeing has delayed the launch of the Dreamliner by more than three years, but it claims the aircraft boasts a superior travel experience. It has a different cabin pressure that leaves people feeling fresher after long flights, a 60% noise reduction, and a cutting-edge entertainment system in addition to using 20% less fuel than other aircraft.

British Airways said its delivery date for the Dreamliner aircraft was still on track for May, though the date for its launch is yet to be confirmed.

This article originally appeared on the website of PRWeek UK, the sister title of PRWeek at Haymarket Media.

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