Tui is stepping in to feature Cuba and The Gambia, former Thomas Cook holiday strongholds, with new flights next year.

The European travel giant will be the only UK operator to run direct weekly flights from the UK to Varadero in Cuba next summer with departures from Manchester following the collapse of Thomas Cook.

Tui is to feature The Gambia for winter 2020-21.

The operator is adding 16,000 seats to Cuba for summer 2020 and 40,000 to The Gambia from November 2020.

The latest expansion follows the addition of two million seats for next year by Tui.

Bookings open today for both destinations with Varadero beach stays at three hotels able to be twinned with visits to Havana.

Eight hotels are featured in The Gambia for winter-sun stays starting on November 1, 2020, with two flights a week from Gatwick and weekly departures from Birmingham and Manchester.

Product and destination experience director Mark Hall said: “Following keen customer interest in both Cuba and The Gambia, we are thrilled to be adding holidays and direct flights to these two places in our incredibly exciting 2020 programme.

“There is now even more choice of trips, hotels and frequent routes, with flight only and twin centre options also available.

“These areas were extremely popular previously with Thomas Cook customers and we are adding this capacity to ensure the destinations can still be enjoyed by British holidaymakers.”