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Airtours unveils MyTravel rebranding plan

LONDON - Travel company Airtours today unveiled plans to rebrand as MyTravel Group, as it also announced it is to shed 1,600 jobs.

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The news came as Airtours, a stalwart of the BBC consumer affairs programme Watchdog, unveiled its full-year results. It is seeking approval from its shareholders to change its name to MyTravel -- also the name of a US travel brand the group acquired last year.

Airtours was founded in 1972. Today, it posted record full-year operating profits of £174.4m. However, its reporting period ended three weeks after the September 11 terrorist attacks on the US.

David Crossland, chairman of Airtours, said: "At this point, we have cut capacities in all our markets for all seasons on sale. We will continue to monitor the situation closely but our inherent flexibility means we are best placed to adjust capacity quickly, according to the development of each market."

This month, the group announced it was to axe its Going Places, Travel World and Holidayworld brands and would trial MyTravel as a retail brand. If it is successful, it will roll out in the company's 700 retail outlets.

Airtours and Premiair planes will also be rebranded as MyTravel, giving the company a fleet of 51 aircraft. The company has launched, a website with distribution capability in the UK, Scandinavia and the US.

Airtours used Corpbrand to design the new MyTravel logo, while Kracker was been retained to handle the retail design. The company said the rebranding figure was currently set at £1.5m, but was likely to increase.

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