TUI Airways has retired the last of its Boeing 767-300s, G-OBYF and G-OBYK. G-OBYF’s final passenger-carrying return charter was from Manchester to Heraklion, Crete on 31 October 2023, while G-OBYK had a more troublesome final few days with TUI after flying from Manchester to Palma, Mallorca on 28 October and then experiencing a technical problem leaving it stranded in Palma as the lease period came to an end.
TUI Airways acquired a fleet of five 767-300s in October 2017 following the renaming of Thomson Airways. G-OBYE was withdrawn from use almost immediately in 2017, followed by G-OBYH in April 2021 and G-OBYG in November of the same year.
The last two 767s have an average age of just over 25 years, clearly making them the oldest aircraft in TUI Airways’ fleet. G-OBYF, the older of the two aircraft, was originally delivered to Britannia Airways in June 1998 under the same registration. It was transferred to Britannia Airways Germany in the same month and re-registered as D-AGYF. It returned to Britannia Airways (UK) in April 2001 as G-OBYF and, following a period of rebranding and mergers, went on to be operated by Thomsonfly, Thomson Airways and finally TUI Airways, interspersed within which were several months during the winter seasons between February 2000 and February 2008 on lease to Garuda Indonesia.
G-OBYK was first delivered to Air 2000 in March 1999 as G-OOAL. Rebranding of Air 2000 in 2004 led to it operating for First Choice Airways for just over a year before it was returned to the lessor. From May 2005 to July 2011 the aircraft was operated by Aeroflot as VP-BWT. In August 2011 it was acquired by the TUI Group and joined TUIfly Nordic until November 2017, registered as SE-RFR, returning again to the carrier from March 2019 to May 2021. In between and through to the present day were two spells with TUI Airways.
It is expected that both G-OBYF and G-OBYK will follow the same path as many other former passenger-carrying 767s and be converted to freighters after an initial period of storage in Istanbul.