I foud this on the net
(look at the bold text)
THOMAS COOK RATIONALISES FLEET
By Sebastian Steinke
For a customer this important, it was the red carpet treatment at Airbus's Toulouse plant on 27 February: Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium was taking delivery of the first, Belgian-registered A320-200 twin, tail code “OO-TCH”, in the new company configuration to be ordered through the parent company Thomas Cook AG (TC). In adopting the same equipment configuration group-wide, the tourism group that bears the name of the British pioneer in package holidays hopes to make hefty cost savings on future aircraft orders and spare parts provisioning.
25 Airbus aircraft are already flying with the various TC subsidiaries. For example, Condor Berlin operates a dozen A320's, while the British JMC, shortly to change its name to “Thomas Cook Airlines UK”, operates five A320's plus two A330's. Then there is Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium, founded only last year, which has already taken delivery of its sixth A320, “Charlie Hotel”. On the other hand, Frankfurt-based Condor “Classic” currently operates a purely Boeing fleet comprising the 757-200, 757-300 and 767-300. Sun Express, Thomas Cook's Turkish partner with its 737's is another purely Boeing user.
The configuration standard that TC has chosen is technically more or less identical to the A320-212's operated by Condor Berlin. Unlike the leased A320-231's powered by the early A1 version of IAE's V2500 engine, that up to now has been in service with Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium, in future the group's jets are to be fitted with GE CFM56 engines as standard.
By using the latest and most powerful version of the CFM56, the CFM56-B4, TC is also opening up the possibility of using the same powerplant on both A320 and A321, should it later place an order for the A321. For the A321 has become particularly attractive to many European charter airlines since Airbus recently offered a version with higher take-off weight and range, as this would be capable of flying out to the relatively remote Canary Islands, even with full payload. Despite this technical “hot trail”, however, TC has not yet made any official procurement decision on the subject of the A321.
All TC jets are to be flown in future with Honeywell avionics, as at Condor at present, rather than the mixture of Allied Signal and Honeywell equipment that has been used up to now on the leased aircraft. Moreover, the new cockpit configuration departs from that of TC's major shareholder, Lufthansa. The APIC auxiliary turbine in the rear also comes from Condor. However, for cost reasons the high-tech carbon-fibre brakes from Messier that are currently standard at Condor are to be replaced by the somewhat cheaper rival model from Goodrich.
It will be fascinating to see how the cabin turns out, as the products of the various airlines in the group have hitherto varied widely as to their interior layout and furnishings. Thus, while Condor offers a non-economy “Comfort Class” section at the front of the cabin on longer routes, on some JMC and TC Airlines Belgium flights customers can, for an appropriate surcharge, order a service upgrade on an individual basis from his travel agent.
Again, British passengers expect everyone in the cabin to be served their hot meal at once, whereas in Condor cabins up to now the last batch of portions has only been heated up once the first passengers have already started their meal. The advantage of this was that fewer of the power-hungry ovens were needed. For standardisation reasons the new TC standard kitchens now have four ovens, i.e. one more than was previously the case at Condor.
The new TC furnishings to be uniformly adopted from April include elegant blue seats and dark blue carpeting. Yellow lines along the luggage racks recall the Condor cabins. The cabin inscriptions are all to be kept in English, while the printed safety instructions for passengers on the newest Belgian aircraft are also provided in the national Flemish and Wallonian languages.
As a special treat, on the new A320's TC is not only offering an audio entertainment programme but on the cabin screens it plans to present live images from a nose-mounted camera,
something few aircraft types have offered up to now. Assuming that the captain agrees and the system is activated, passengers will thus be able to follow the take-off as if they were in the cockpit themselves and watch the landing right down to the final handsign of the signalman.
On the outside, the latest Airbus also sports the new group-wide livery. The unmistakable “Thomas Cook” logo extends right along the white fuselage, which has a light blue underside. The tailplane is now resplendent with the new TC logo, a blur of yellow and blue. A multi-layered sticker that evidently has the useful property of allowing overpainting is used for this purpose.
Despite the identical paint scheme, the various airlines in the group will also carry their own distinctive features: thus, the front sides of Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium's planes will sport additional travel-related catchwords such as “dream”, “relax”, “inspire”, “discover”, “explore” and “experience”. Like Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium, JMC is to be painted as “Thomas Cook Airlines UK”, while Condor and Condor Berlin will have the new livery plus the extra slogans “powered by Condor” and “powered by Condor Berlin” respectively.
Even if the aircraft are technically very similar, mixed fleet operations will normally be avoided. On the one hand different wage agreements will apply throughout the group, while on the other hand national registration requirements have to be heeded when it is a matter of using traffic rights between two states. Besides, the product is not fully interchangeable. Thus, for example, TC has found that British passengers normally expect to be accompanied by “genuine” British flight attendants and not Belgians or Germans. However, it will be possible to exchange aircraft in the future when there is a need for a short-term substitute in the group or to meet seasonal peaks in demand.
Within the TC group, the Belgians are viewed as particularly good value, since following the collapse of Sabena many trained crew were available at relatively low salaries. But even at Condor Berlin and JMC, whose aircraft are not, however, of a directly comparable size, they are particularly pleased with the cost situation. All in all it is felt that, despite its relatively high-grade product, the company is approaching the cost level of the no-frills airlines, who are therefore not feared as competitors.
Even on the day of the Airbus delivery, Thomas Cook are still pleased with their Boeing aircraft. The 757-300, they believe, is impressive as regards its extremely low operating costs per passenger, as long as utilisation is good. Its only shortcoming is apparently the baggage loading, although this is not a problem as long as the groundcrew are experienced.
No decision has yet been made at Thomas Coral as to whether the still relatively young 767-300 should one day be replaced by the A330 or even the planned Boeing 7E7. As Rudolf Thewes, Director Flight Operations and senior fleet planner at Thomas Cook AG, told FLUG REVUE in an interview in Toulouse, the 7E7 will only become a potential candidate in about a year's time, when its performance parameters have been specified and contractually guaranteed. Apropos of the 7E7, Thewes commented that TC did not need the transpacific range currently planned and preferred a lower take-off weight.
The reasons why Thomas Cook presently prefers the A320 to the 737NG were also interesting. Apparently, the A320 has a very modern and spacious cabin which the passenger enters through a kind of representative entrance area. By contrast, the for some incomprehensible reason largely unmodernised cabin of the NG is narrower and is entered as if “through the kitchen”. The A320's cargo capacity was cited as another significant advantage. Air freight has ceased to be an incidental aspect in chartered operations and today is a lucrative add-on business.
In response to a question from FLUG REVUE, Gustav Humbert, Chief Operating Officer at Airbus, confirmed that the requirements imposed on the aircraft manufacturers by charter operators and scheduled airlines were becoming increasingly similar. Multi-class cabin configurations and in-flight entertainment systems to the latest standards are apparently frequently chosen even for use on holiday destination routes.
Thomas Cook will be taking delivery of its next new A320-200 in April. This time the plane will be bound for JMC, or rather, Thomas Cook Airlines UK. But after that, in view of the attractive low leasing rates presently on offer, Thomas Cook is considering temporarily switching over to leased aircraft before reverting to purchasing its next standard configuration units.
From FLUG REVUE 5/2003
Source: http://www.flug-revue.rotor.com/FRheft/ ... R0305f.htm
some pictures can illustrate that
OO-TCB without a camera
OO-TCH with a camera (between front landing gear an the nose, there you see a litte hole, I think that it is the camera, I am not sure)