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  • Writer's pictureGotta Go Orlando

TUI Flights From The U.K. To Melbourne Airport Begin This Month

Updated: Mar 12, 2022

Starting March 22, TUI's first Boeing 787 Dreamliner filled with excited tourists from the United Kingdom will fly into Melbourne Orlando International Airport, with officials projecting the worldwide travel giant bringing 135,000 passengers into Melbourne by the end of 2022.



With most passengers heading straight to the theme parks and attractions of Orlando, TUI switching from the much closer to Orlando, Sanford Orlando International Airport to Melbourne is a challenge for TUI, as their regular visitors to the sunshine state will be used to arriving much closer to Orlando.


Plus, for Space Coast business leaders, the question is how they can lure these passengers to spend any amount of time, and their money in the local area.


Tammy McKenzie who is in charge of the TUI Group's “Project Melbourne" commented "I have colleagues that have come over to Melbourne, and they've been out by the beach there. Yes, the beach is absolutely amazing — but it's quite residential,"


"If our customers come here, how will they know what's offered? Where will they know to go? And that's going to be the really key part for Melbourne now, and for the Space Coast," McKenzie said. "It's making sure that the Brits know about Melbourne,"


McKenzie went on to say Melbourne offers TUI two key strategic advantages: nearby beaches and uncongested access to I-Drive.


After switching from Sanford to Melbourne, McKenzie said TUI will market the Space Coast to European travelers along these lines: “Melbourne treats visitors to the more authentic side of Florida, and a place to retreat and relax from the chaos of I-Drive.”


McKenzie said TUI has been working the past few months with Cocoa Beach hoteliers on packaging overnight stays with Brevard activities: think beachgoing, surfing, paddleboarding, kayaking, deep-sea fishing, seafood dining and shopping.


For example, she said TUI passengers could rent a car and spend consecutive nights along the Space Coast, which could be particularly attractive for Port Canaveral cruisers, and with this in mind, U.K. cruise line Marella Cruises, a division of TUI, will itself launch cruises from Port Canaveral next summer.


Destinations will include New York, New Orleans, Charleston, South Carolina, Key West, and the Caribbean.



TUI agreed a seven-year contract in 2020 to move its Central Florida gateway operations from Orlando Sanford International Airport to Melbourne. Since then, construction crews have been racing to complete a massive $72 million overhaul of Melbourne's passenger terminal to ensure it can accommodate TUI's aircraft and the large influx of international passengers.


All works will be completed in in time to welcome TUI's inaugural flight from the U.K. which will be from Manchester, England on March 22.


Rob Himler, Melbourne Orlando International Airport spokesman said TUI will operate 11 weekly flights throughout April from eight U.K. regional airports. Each flight will carry between 300 to 345 passengers. Moving into the busy summer months, flights will increase to 16 weekly flights



The Space Coast Office of Tourism has earmarked $200,000 for initial marketing aimed at the influx of TUI passengers.


With most TUI passengers spending between 10 to 14 days on their Florida vacations, Melbourne Main Street Executive Director Kim Agee said she hopes they return to Melbourne for the last two days of their trips.


“We’re hoping they will stay in our local hotels and bed-and-breakfasts. And that they will come into downtown and shop and play and live and explore, and do all the things that we have to offer," Agee said.



TUI Flight Schedule:


Here is the details for the TUI flights as they prepare to fly from a large number of U.K. locations into Melbourne.


Birmingham

Flights from Birmingham (BHX/EGBB) will operate up to 3 times per week.


Bristol

Twice-weekly flight will operate from Bristol (BRS/EGGD).


Doncaster Sheffield

A once weekly flight will operate from Doncaster Sheffield (DSA/EGCN).


Edinburgh

A once weekly flight will also operate from Edinburgh (EDI/EGPH).


Glasgow

Glasgow (GLA/EGPF) will also have a once weekly flight.


London Gatwick

London Gatwick (LGW/EGKK) will have twice-weekly flights.


Newcastle

Twice weekly flights will operate from Newcastle (NCL/EGNT).


Manchester

Manchester (MAN/EGCC) will see the most flights with up to five weekly flights.




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