Last December, Thomas Cook Airlines @TCAirlinesUK welcomed the first of its new Airbus A321 aircraft to be based at Birmingham Airport, and today (6 February 2015) another first takes off from the airport – on board the same aircraft. Taking control on the flight deck of the A321 and flying holidaymakers from Birmingham to Tenerife, will be Thomas Cook Airlines’ first ever Father-and-Daughter flight crew.
Captain Peter Elliott, one of the airlines’ most senior pilots, and his daughter, Senior First Officer Laura Elliott, who recently returned to the airline, will fly together for first time on board the new aircraft. Speaking about this remarkable coincidence, SFO Laura Elliott said, “It’s pure chance that we’ve been rostered on the same flight – I’ve recently come back to Thomas Cook Airlines and with my Dad moving over to fly the same type of aircraft as me, we were hoping it would happen one day. We’re both very proud and we’re really happy to be sharing this with the airport, our colleagues on board and our customers flying with us.”
With 15500 hours of flying and a pilot trainer for 25 years, Captain Elliott will take command of the aircraft having moved from operating Boeing to Airbus aircraft ahead of Thomas Cook Airlines bringing more A321 to Birmingham in 2015. Alongside him, SFO Elliott joined Thomas Cook Airlines as a First Officer in 2009 and has acquired over 2500 hours on Airbus type aircraft. Over the last few months, Thomas Cook Airlines has added six brand new Airbus A321 aircraft to its UK fleet, and this is set to continue in 2015 with three further deliveries from Airbus as part of the 25 aircraft being delivered to the Thomas Cook Group Airlines by 2016.
With the airlines new fleet based at airports across the UK , Birmingham Airport is will featuring the new aircraft in the airlines new Sunny Heart livery. This follows the news in July last year that the airline would base four Airbus aircraft at Birmingham in Summer 2015, replacing the outgoing Boeing 757 fleet - this summer the airline will offer 47,000 more flight seats and holidays to customers in the Midlands.