Thomas Cook Airlines has introduced Economy Light fares on long-haul flights.
The reduced fares, for passengers without a checked bag, go on sale on Tuesday for bookings made on flights from November 1.
Savings vary per route and date, but return fares are £60 less on some Thomas Cook Airlines’ Manchester-New York JFK flights.
Economy Light passengers can take a 6kg cabin bag, must check in online and pay to choose seats, but the onboard service is the same as standard Economy fares.
Commercial director Henry Sunley said he expected the fares to appeal to seat‑only passengers rather than customers on package holidays to destinations such as the Caribbean, who are still likely to prefer a 20kg-23kg checked bag.
Fares are commissionable to agents through Thomas Cook’s New Distribution Capability (NDC) channel, but are not available via global distribution systems.
Thomas Cook Airlines has been growing its long-haul operation out of its UK hub in Manchester, with routes added to Los Angeles and Boston in 2016, San Francisco in 2017 and Seattle this May.
Frequencies from Manchester to New York JFK, which was launched in 2015, went daily in December. Barbados, Saint Lucia, Antigua and Tobago from Manchester were launched in 2015.
Sunley said that, on average, fewer than 5% of seats on these recently-added routes are bought as part of packages, adding: “What we have noticed is that our customers might go to New York for two or three nights. They like having the 23kg luggage but if there’s a chance of a reduced fare, they’ll take it.”
Economy Light had already been introduced on short-haul routes by Thomas Cook Airlines and sister carrier Condor.
A Flex option has also been introduced to Thomas Cook Airlines’ Economy fares in the UK. A charge of about £10 turns a non-refundable fare into a flexible ticket that allows cancellations and removes penalties and charges for date and route changes.
Customers buying a package holiday will keep their luggage allowances as standard.
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