The closure of Skyservice Airlines last week has paved the way for a joint venture between travel operator Thomas Cook and Jazz Air, the regional partner of Air Canada.

Announced yesterday, the partnership is beneficial for Jazz in two reasons. Not only will the deal allow the airline expand its operations, but it will also let Jazz fly a fleet of no less than six Boeing 757-200 jets. The plane, which has a seating capacity of up to 228 passengers, is substantially bigger than the jets and turboprops Jazz now operates.

Much of the risk related to Jazz’s switching to a larger fleet has been offloaded to Thomas Cook, which will sub-lease the jets to Jazz for flights from Canada to destinations in Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America. Jazz will also hire some contract pilots to temporarily fly the Boeing 757-200 planes and train its pilots.

The deal is made possible by the sudden closure of Skyservice, which had a long-standing charter agreement with Thomas Cook. Skyservice provided flights for Sunquest Vacations for 15 years before it shut down its operations last Wednesday. While Thomas Cook has currently partnered with WestJet Airlines to temporarily provide flights for Sunquest this summer, Jazz will become its main winter partner this year until 2012.