These airlines have until recently been run separately. We are now changing that structure. Together, our airlines would rank as the seventh largest airline operation in Europe, with high rates of asset utilisation due to our integrated model. We want to future-proof our airlines, and this will only be possible if we leverage the potential economies of scale.
The way our five airlines are operating will further improve as we are building a competitive aviation platform. In essence, we are building a virtual airline. This means that we will act ’as one’ wherever it makes sense to do so, maintaining local differences where the benefit of that differentiation is greater than that of harmonisation. Organisational structure, the business model and scale are the main elements of our central platform. We expect to benefit in the areas of aircraft purchasing and financing, engineering and maintenance, IT and joint long-haul planning and procurement.
We are the only leisure airline operating the Boeing B787 Dreamliner which is a key differentiator on long-haul destinations. As the B787 is providing us with significant commercial benefits, we are growing our B787 fleet. Flying in a B787 delivers an enhanced customer experience as well as cost efficiency due to lower fuel consumption than similarly sized aircrafts. Consequently, the B787 opens up new destinations, adding to our significant and growing long-haul presence.
TUI is proceeding with the renewal and modernisation of its Europe-wide aircraft fleet. The objective of upgrading the fleet is to make flights more economical, cost-efficient and environmentally-efficient. Since 2013, TUI has ordered a total of 70 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft which are intended to replace aircraft currently in service. This type of aircraft is particularly cost-saving and emission-efficient. The first 737 MAX 8 was delivered in January 2018.