Nouvelair will offer its first scheduled flights from the UK to Tunisia’s Enfidha airport this summer.
The Tunisian airline, which has previously chartered flights between the countries, is to offer regular services from Gatwick and Manchester airports.
Flights will run from early May until the end of October, peaking at five per a week, and there is an option to extend them through the winter season.
The carrier said it took the decision due to the collapse of Thomas Cook last year. Cook customers accounted for 60% of the holidaymakers to Tunisia before it went into liquidation, Nouvelair said.
Tui and Thomas Cook reintroduced Tunisia to their summer programmes in 2018 – after a travel ban which had been in place since a terrorist killed 38 people at a Tui hotel in Sousse in 2015 was lifted in July 2017.
Karim Dahmani, Nouvelair’s sales and marketing central director, said: “We believe that Nouvelair must play its part in helping travellers return to Tunisia for holidays.
“It is important for us to support the leisure economy of Tunisia, especially now the largest UK provider of seats to Tunisia is no longer in the market.”
Nouvelair hopes to provide seats to UK tour operators and travel agents. One-way fares start at £128.
Julian Carr, aviation director at Manchester airport, said: “It’s great to welcome Nouvelair to Manchester airport, giving our 29.5m passengers additional choice when flying to Tunisia.
“Having already operated successful charter services here, I am sure they will prove popular with our passengers looking to escape the cold in search of some sun.”
Gatwick head of airline relations, Stephen King, said: “Nouvelair’s commitment to Gatwick means we can now offer passengers more choice when it comes to travel options, with Tunisian tourism predicted to reach a 10-year high in 2020.”
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