The airline started operations on 11 April 1987, launched by the Owners Abroad Group under the name Air 2000. One year later, the airline set up a subsidiary in Canada, to be called Air 2000 Airline Ltd. This subsidiary lasted only a few days before the Canadian government suspended its licence. The second attempt was more successful and became Canada 3000. Expansion saw new bases in the UK established, with Dublin becoming the airline"s first overseas hub in 1996, the acquisition of Leisure International Airways in 1998, new aircraft and licence for new scheduled operations
In March 2008, the airline merged with the tourism division of Thomsonfly as Thomson Airways. Thomsonfly and First Choice Airways both rebranded their operations to Thomson Airways, merging with a fleet of 75 aircraft.
About the airline
First Choice Airways was a British charter airline of European tour operator TUI Travel PLC, based in Crawley, England, specialising in sun holidays and worldwide and charter flights. Its main bases were Manchester Airport and London Gatwick Airport, with its main hub being London Gatwick Airport. The long haul services were sold only by internal companies such as First Choice Holidays, Eclipse Direct, Sunsail, Sovereign, Hayes and Jarvis and Unijet.
It flew to more than 60 destinations worldwide from 14 UK and Irish airports. First Choice Airways served the following international destinations before merging with Thomsonfly (Thomson Airways destinations for the merged destinations): Cape Verde, Egypt, Gambia, Kenya, Tusinia, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Cuba, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Mexico, US, Brazil, Venezuela, Cyprus, India, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Austria, Bulgaria, France, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Malta, Morocco, Portugal and UK.
The First Choice Airways fleet included the following aircrafts: 5 Airbus A320-200, 3 Airbus A321-200, 14 Boeing 757-200 and 6 Boeing 767-300ER.
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