Jet2 owner to keep prices ‘enticing’ amid optimism for summer 2021

PA

Jet2 airline owner Dart Group has said prices will need to remain “enticing” to attract cautious holidaymakers as more countries are added to the UK’s coronavirus quarantine list.

The Dart Group said winter 20/21 bookings have yet to match capacity cuts, although it said bookings to date for summer 2021 are “encouraging”.

The firm also announced plans to change the group name to Jet2 plc, aligned with its two brands Jet2holidays and Jet2.com.

Travel firms have been dealt a blow by an ever-growing list of countries being placed on the UK quarantine list, with confirmation expected imminently that travellers from Portugal will once again be forced to self-isolate for weeks.

Wales and Scotland have also imposed quarantine measures for people arriving from Greece in recent days.

Dart said that, despite these “setbacks”, it has been satisfied with how well it is filling its places since resuming flights on July 15.

It has gradually increased its programme to around 40% of its planned destinations for August.

Jet2.com chief warned after shouting at staff at airport
Jet2.com chief warned after shouting at staff at airport

But Philip Meeson, executive chairman of Dart Group, said customers are booking more last-minute trips than in previous years amid the ever-evolving guidance from the Government.

“Therefore, pricing for both our leisure travel products – end-to-end package holidays with Jet2holidays and flight-only seats with Jet2.com – will need to remain consistently enticing,” he said.

“For summer 2021, we plan to fly to all our popular leisure destinations with an appropriate, tailored level of service, which we anticipate will be close to summer 2019 seat capacity levels.

“Bookings to date are encouraging, with average load factors ahead of the same point last year and package holiday customer numbers as a proportion of total departing customers showing a material increase.”

He added that the name change marked an “exciting day” for the group.

“Our business has evolved significantly over the last decade and we believe now is the right time to align our group name with the brand under which our business is delivered,” he said.

Leeds-based Jet2 recently revealed that more than 100 pilots will be axed after flights were grounded due to the pandemic.

It suspended services for four months from March 17 and had originally planned to resume them on May 1.

But the impact of the collapse in demand, and travel restrictions such as the UK Government’s quarantine policy, meant aircraft were grounded until mid-July.

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