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The Dreamliner is over for Thomson

A 787 tail05/03/13

By Daniel Machin

Customers booked to travel with holiday airline Thomson on the new ultra-green Dreamliner plane are to be switched to a different aircraft.

The company had hoped to operate the troubled Boeing 787 from May but it has had to scrap these plans following a host of operational difficulties with the plane in recent weeks.

People due to fly on the new quiet, fuel-efficient plane in May and June will now be transferred to alternative planes

Thomson, which is due to receive eight Dreamliners, said it had made the decision "in the absence of a delivery schedule from Boeing".

"Our dedicated customer service team is in the process of contacting all customers impacted to inform them that they will now be travelling on Thomson Airways (Boeing) 767 long-haul aircraft, which have premium cabins," declared the airline.

"The supplement paid for the 787 Dreamliner flight will be refunded to those customers who proceed with their original holiday bookings, and customers will also have the option to amend their holiday without incurring any amendment fees."

The much-heralded Boeing 787 Dreamliner is already a few years behind its original schedule due production difficulties.

Boasting a quiet engine and increased fuel efficiency, the 787 can seat between 210 and 290 passengers on medium-range routes.

It took to the skies with All Nippon Airways in October 2011, but a number of battery fires have affected flights of late. Consequently, various national aviation authorities have ordered the grounding of the planes until the problem is solved.

Thomson is the UK launch partner for the plane but it has now had to postpone its plans due to circumstances which it said are out of its control.

British Airways is due to receive the first of 24 Dreamliners in May while Virgin Atlantic is scheduled to get the first of its 16 Dreamliners in September 2014.

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