Gatwick Welcomes First Dreamliner

Dreamliner at London GatwickLondon Gatwick welcomed a Boeing 787 Dreamliner to the airport for the first time on June 21, ahead of scheduled services to Cancun and Phuket later in the year.
The one-off Thomson service to Menorca provided passengers with what the airline describes as the full Dreamliner experience, which includes up to 34 inches legroom in economy and dynamic LED lighting that can mimic dawn and dusk.
Gatwick and Thomson already serve Cancun, but from early July passengers will be able to fly to the popular Mexican destination on a scheduled long-haul service on the Dreamliner before a new route to Phuket is opened for the winter in November.
A press release from Gatwick said the Boeing 787 as an aircraft, along with Airbus A350s, are set to play a pivotal role for the future of aviation and how passengers travel, offering more access to direct flights to new destinations that are further afield.  Gatwick is one of the airports competing to have a key role in the future development of air services for the south-east of England, so it’s no surprise that its statement included the line that airlines: “which plan decades ahead, are investing heavily in these new generation long-range aircraft and moving away from the traditional ‘hub and spoke’ model that generates transfer passengers.”  It’s a polite way of saying the new airliners reduce the airlines’ need for a Heathrow type of operation in favour of that currently provided by Gatwick.
Guy Stephenson, Chief Commercial Officer at London Gatwick, said: “We are delighted to welcome the first Thomson Dreamliner to London Gatwick today.  This is an exciting milestone for us as this innovative aircraft offers our airlines even more potential to create new long haul routes in the future from Gatwick.  We have already made great progress in opening new routes to key emerging markets such as China and Vietnam, and have a strong long-haul leisure business.  We look forward to continuing this success and we continue to work closely with all of our airlines to provide the best passenger experience.”
David Burling, Managing Director of Thomson Airways’ parent company TUI UK and Ireland, joined passengers on-board the historic first flight.  He commented: “Today has been several months and years in the planning and after a lot of hard work I am absolutely thrilled to celebrate the first flight from London Gatwick, which is a very important event in the company’s history.  We’re very proud to be the first UK airline to fly the Dreamliner and will operate this state-of-the-art aircraft on short and mid haul routes in preparation for our inaugural long-haul flights to Cancun and Florida on July 8.”