By Daniel Hunter

The Thomson and First Choice brands will be scrapped under plans by parent company Tui.

The two British firms were merged with their German travel parent company and Tui says the brands will be phased out over three years.

Thomson and First Choice have around five million customers. Tui has around 30 million and owns 300 hotels, 136 planes and 1,800 shops across Europe.

Tui chief executive Peter Long said it would first phase out regional brands in France and the Netherlands.

The plans were announced as Tui reported half-year losses of €272.6 million (£195.5m), slightly better than the €341.4m loss it reported in the previous half.

Tui, which is listed in London, despite its base in Hannover, saw shares drop more than 2.5% after the news.