Airtours 'back on the high street' as revival plans gather pace

Airtours 'back on the high street' as revival plans gather pace

A revived Airtours brand has released two new brochures offering value sun and beach holidays for families and couples.

The re-launch of the Airtours brand comes under Chris Mottershead, the new Cook UK managing director, who told Travel Weekly in July that he saw Airtours as a “great opportunity”.

Mottershead ran Airtours during its heydays in the 1990s and admitted the brand had been “a bit forgotten” as part of the Cook portfolio.

This week’s re-launch comes with the strapline ‘Pack More In’ referring to its full package offering as well as financial protection provided by a mainstream tour operator.

Cook said a team from across the business was pulled together to transform Airtours, “allowing it to offer great value holidays in familiar sun and beach destinations such as Spain, the Balearics, Canary Islands, Greece and Mexico, flying from regional airports and sold through local travel agents”.

The firm added the re-launch has been informed by customer research that has shown they value flexibility, choice and the ability to tailor make their own holidays.

All hotels in the Airtours offering - including the ‘smartline’ range - will be exclusive to the brand with no cross-over to the Thomas Cook brand and each property will have a minimum TripAdvisor rating of three.

Mottershead said: "Airtours remains one of the most popular brands in travel, yet it doesn't have a significant presence on the high street.

“Even though little has been done to promote it recently, it’s doing really well, representing around 40% of UK sales. It's very much our value for money brand, and we’re looking to give it the boost it needs to remind people about the great value for money holidays it offers.”

Airtours will be aligned closely with the Co-operative retail estate of 258 stores, as well as independent agents.

It will be the focus of the Co-operative Travel’s turn of year campaign and will be the brand promoted in Co-op shop windows.

The brand will be promoted through partnerships with major independent agents including Barrhead Travel and Hays Travel.

Cook is poised to invest heavily in marketing Airtours, with regional campaigns including radio and outdoor which will focus on travel from regional airports to popular destinations.

Posters will incorporate all-new family-focussed imagery with slogans designed to bring the brand to life, such as ‘The Funny, Sunny Holiday’ and ‘Ha Ha Ha Holidays’.

New-look brochures including refreshed front covers have also been introduced to mark the re-launch, along with a new all-inclusive brochure and twice as many year-round sun brochures available than last year.

It is anticipated the full rebranding of Airtours will be completed in time for Summer 2017.

Mottershead added: “Airtours has a strong position in the market, which we are looking to further strengthen‎.

“With Airtours promoted in our Co-operative Travel shops as well as via our partnerships with the major independents, this is a clear statement that it's back and it’s here to stay.”


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