First Choice and Thomson are to keep separate brand names on the high street following the merger of their parent companies to form TUI Travel.

UK and Ireland managing director Dermot Blastland said there were no plans to ditch one of the well-known high-street retail brands as a result of the merger and separate representatives will also be kept for the two brands in overseas resorts.

The merged companies’ two airlines, however, will be migrated on to Thomsonfly’s air operating certificate.

Meanwhile, the new combined business has revealed it is likely to base its tour operation and airline for the UK business in TUI’s offices in Luton.

However, Blastland stressed a final decision had not been taken.

“We will work through, department by department, and we will do it intelligently. We may say in some areas that we will keep the skills set here [in Crawley],” he said.

The lease on First Choice’s Crawley offices does not expire until the end of 2009.