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First Choice Airways

From Academic Kids

Airbus A321 sporting the previous air2000 titles.  Aircraft now display 'First Choice' with this livery.
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Airbus A321 sporting the previous air2000 titles. Aircraft now display 'First Choice' with this livery.
First Choice Boeing 757-200, wearing the now-replaced air2000 titles.
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First Choice Boeing 757-200, wearing the now-replaced air2000 titles.

First Choice Airways is the integrated charter airline of British tour operator First Choice plc, based in Manchester in the United Kingdom. It flies to more than 60 destinations worldwide from 14 UK and Irish airports. 70% of the airline's ervices are operated for its parent company, rising to 85% in the summer season, with the remainder on behalf of some 120 other tour operators. It also operates scheduled year-round leisure routes to Cyprus and the popular resorts of Spain and Portugal. Its main bases are Manchester International Airport (MAN) and London Gatwick (LGW).

Contents

Code Data

  • IATA Code: DP
  • ICAO Code: FCA
  • Callsign: Jetset

History

The airline was established in 1987 and started operations on 11 April 1987 under the name air2000 with 2 Boeing 757 aircraft and a flight from Manchester to Málaga. The fleet doubled a year later, with one aircraft being based at Glasgow International Airport. In the same year, the airline attempted to 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 would prove more successful and became Canada 3000.

Long haul services to Mombassa in Kenya were introduced for the first time during the 1988/89 season. The 757s were re-equipped for extended range and flights to the United States began in 1989.

The airline was granted a licence for scheduled operations by the CAA in 1992, which commenced in 1993, initially between London Gatwick and Paphos, in Cyprus.

Expansion saw several new bases in the UK established, with Dublin becoming the airline's first international hub in 1996. Leisure International Airways was fully integrated after the acquisition by First Choice of Unijet in June 1998. air2000 was rebranded as First Choice Airways in March 2004.

First Choice Airways was a launch customer for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, placing a firm order for 6 aircraft with an option for a further 6, to be delivered in 2009 The airline was the first European customer for the aircraft, and also for the General Electric GEnx engine option.

Services

First Choice Airways operates services to the following international scheduled destinations (at May 2005): Alicante, Almeria, Arrecife, Faro, Fuerteventura, Funchal, Ibiza, Larnaca, Las Palmas, Mahon, Málaga, Palma de Mallorca, Paphos, Reus and Tenerife (Reina Sofía).

In addition, regular charter flights to other points in Spain and Portugal, as well as Greece, Turkey, Croatia, Bulgaria, Austria, France, Italy, North Africa, the Caribbean, the United States, Mexico, Kenya, Gambia and India.

Fleet

The First Choice Airways fleet consists of the following aircraft (at June 2005):

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