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Although Thomson is the first to announce flights between London and Phuket on the new 787 Dreamliner, British Airways and Virgin are awaiting Dreamliner arrivals and will likely announce new routes shortly.

Thomson Airways will launch a weekly service from Gatwick to the popular Thai resort in November 2013, with both Thomson and First Choice offering holidays that include travel on the groundbreaking aircraft.

No other tour operator or airline currently offers direct flights to Phuket – bookings will open on November 15.

A spokesman for TUI, which owns both Thomson and First Choice, said: “We are thrilled that we are able to offer an exclusive, direct flight to Phuket on the Thomson 787 Dreamliner and we are confident that our customers will love the destination and the hotels we will be operating to.”

Thomson Airways will become the first British airline to fly the 787 next May, on routes from Manchester, Gatwick, Glasgow and East Midlands to Florida and Mexico.

It has ordered 13 Dreamliners in total, and recently ran a competition asking Twitter users to name its first one.

The winning suggestion, which earned one user a free flight on the new aircraft, was “Living the Dream” – other tweeters were quick to criticise the winning choice as “boring” and “lame”.

Qatar Airways will become the first carrier to use the Dreamliner on a commercial route in December. It will use the aircraft on one of its five weekly flights between Heathrow and Doha.

The aircraft has been described as the world’s most environmentally-friendly – it uses 20 per cent less fuel, costs 30 per cent less to maintain and produces 60 per cent less noise pollution than any other aircraft of the same size.

It also features higher ceilings and larger windows, and is the first aircraft to abandon the “bleed air” system which scientists claim causes aerotoxic syndrome – an illness that can result in dizziness, nausea and breathing difficulties.

The bleed air system draws compressed air through the engines and into the cabin, so if there is an oil or hydraulic fuel leak, toxic chemicals can contaminate the air supply. On the Dreamliner, fresh cabin air is pumped from a separate source.

British Airways has ordered 24, and will also start using the aircraft next year. Virgin Atlantic will begin flights with the Dreamliner in 2014.

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Tags: london, phuket, thomson

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