Rotterdam, 3 November 2022 - Digital holiday expert Sunweb Group has acquired Sweden’s fourth largest tour operator, Airtours. The acquisition strengthens Sunweb’s position in Sweden and is in line with its ambition to become one of the biggest holiday operators in the Nordic countries.
Sunweb Group, one of Europe’s largest travel operators, sees Airtours as an ideal match for its expansion in the Nordics. The Group, which was founded in 1991 and serves over one million travelers every year in seven European countries, is supported by majority owner Triton, an international investment company.
Airtours, which was founded in 1998, serves around 100,000 travelers every year. The acquisition will build on Sunweb Group’s existing business in Denmark and Sweden to become one of the leading players in the Nordics.
The deal will allow Airtours customers to benefit from a wider choice of destinations in Europe, with greater flexibility and improved technology.
“We are very pleased that Airtours is becoming part of the Sunweb Group family. Not only do we share the same business model, but also the same mentality of always challenging the travel industry and putting customers first,” said Mattijs ten Brink, CEO at Sunweb Group. “In 2022 we have been leveraging all the hard work done during the two pandemic years. This has resulted in the best financial results in our history, increased market shares in our home markets, the introduction of cruises, as well as the launches of Eliza was here in the UK, and Sunweb in Sweden. In 2023 we will continue to build on our improved market position and maintain our growth. In Scandinavia, we now take an important step towards becoming one of the largest players in the market”.
Sunweb Group and Airtours are an ideal match as both companies are asset-light and sell directly to customers, while offering full flexibility with the security of a package holiday. The product offerings are also highly complementary.
Early during the pandemic, Airtours took the decision to look for a partner to maximise openings in the market during what was a difficult time.
“The pandemic brought changes and openings to the market, which we identified as an early opportunity to leverage. We started looking for a partner and quickly realized that Sunweb Group was the perfect fit. Both businesses share a customer-centric approach and mutual values. We believe that our similar business models are well-suited and will allow us to grow, challenge and become one of the biggest tour operators in the Nordics”, said Stefan Chatzopoulos, one of Airtours’ founders.
With well-known brands such as Sunweb and Eliza, Sunweb Group has an annual turnover of more than 800 million euros. It was acquired by private equity fund Triton V in 2019.