Tui UK managing director Dave Burling believes investing in the Boeing 787 secured the final piece in the group’s “unique product” jigsaw.

Burling told Travel Weekly: “Our investment is not only restricted to hotels – we also invested in the airline so we would have the Dreamliner.”

Thomson Airways became the first UK carrier to operate the Boeing 787 14 months ago.

Burling said: “We’ve carried 670,000 passengers on 2,500 flights since.

“In July we passed a milestone – since then, all long-haul Thomson flights have been on the Dreamliner. Flights from Birmingham, Newcastle and Edinburgh started last month.”

He added: “Our legroom on the Dreamliner is better than British Airways’ or Virgin Atlantic’s to the Caribbean and, from November, we’ll offer a complimentary bar in economy on all long-haul flights.”

Burling said: “We’ve added a third weekly flight from Gatwick to Florida for next summer and a sixth flight to Cancun.

“We’ll have two more 787s arrive for 2015 and we’ll have announcements on new routes soon.”

He argued: “We’ve got the product, we’ve got the hotels, we’ve got the technology and we’ve got the Dreamliner.”