Vacation expert Sunweb Group has acquired Sweden’s fourth-largest tour operator Airtours. The acquisition strengthens Sunweb’s position in Sweden and is part of the ambition to be one of the largest holiday organizers in the Nordic countries.
Sunweb Group, one of Europe’s largest tour operators, sees Airtours as the ideal partner for its expansion into the Nordic countries. Sunweb Group was founded in 1991 and helps more than one million travelers a year in seven European countries. Sunweb Group is backed by majority owner Triton, an international investment firm.
Airtours, which was founded in 1998, has around 100,000 travelers each year. With this acquisition, Sunweb Group completes its current operations in Denmark and Sweden and becomes one of the main players in the Nordic region.
The acquisition gives Airtours customers the ability to choose from a wider selection of destinations in Europe, increased flexibility and better technology.
“We are very happy that Airtours is now part of the Sunweb Group family. We not only share the same business model, but also the same attitude to constantly challenge the travel industry and put the customer first.says Mattijs ten Brink, CEO of Sunweb Group.
“In 2022, we saw the result of all the hard work over the two years of the pandemic, which resulted in the best financial result in our history, increased market share in our home markets, the launch of cruises and at the launch of Eliza was there in the UK and Sunweb in Sweden. In 2023, we will continue to leverage our better market position and maintain our growth. In the Nordics, we are now taking an important step towards becoming one of the biggest players in the market.”
The perfect match
Sunweb Group and Airtours complement each other perfectly as neither company owns hotels or flights, sells directly to customers and offers customers full flexibility but with the same security as a charter trip. The product offerings also complement each other to the highest degree.
At the start of the pandemic, Airtours decided to take advantage of difficult times when market opportunities would arise and began looking for a partner.
“The pandemic has brought about changes and openings in the market, which we saw early on as an opportunity to be seized. We started looking for a partner and at the beginning of this process we realized that Sunweb Group was the ideal solution. We both start from the customer’s point of view and we share the view that our similar business models suit the Nordic market very well and will help us grow, challenge and become one of the biggest tour operators.says Stefan Chatzopoulos, one of the founders of Airtour.
With well-known brands such as Sunweb and Eliza, Sunweb Group has an annual turnover of more than 800 million euros. The company was acquired in 2019 by investment firm Triton’s Triton V fund.