Thomson will launch B787 Dreamliner flights to Cancun and Phuket later this year, but passengers got a glimpse of things to come today when it operated a one-off service to Menorca (MAH) today.
Phuket, a new destination for Gatwick (LGW), is due to launch in November.
Thomson’s existing flights from the gateway to Cancun on B767s will switch to the Dreamliner on July 8.
For Gatwick, operations by B787s and A350s will help transform London's route map by opening up long-haul routes to emerging markets.
In long-haul destinations, Gatwick already serves Vietnam and China. Garuda is also starting flights to Jakarta in November.
Guy Stephenson, CCO at London Gatwick, describe the plane's arrival as "an exciting milestone".
"This innovative aircraft offers our airlines even more potential to create new long-haul routes in the future from Gatwick," he said.
"We have already made great progress in opening new routes to key emerging markets such as China and Vietnam, and have a strong long-haul leisure business. We look forward to continuing this success and we continue to work closely with all of our airlines to provide the best passenger experience."
Boeing’s Dreamliner features composite materials that help it to consume 20% less fuel than B767 planes.