Jet2 hopeful over summer 2022 but winter demand under pressure

Holiday firm Jet2 has said bookings remain under pressure for the winter season but it cheered “encouraging” demand for summer next year.

The firm said it was keeping its winter programme under “continuous review” as bookings continue to be sluggish for the season.

It added that prices need to remain “enticing”, with bookings failing to match flight capacity.

But Jet2 said it is expecting summer 2022 to be a “considerable improvement on both summer ’20 and summer ’21”, with bookings to date encouraging and plans for it to fly to all popular destinations.

Executive chairman Philip Meeson said: “We believe opportunities for financially strong, resilient and trusted operators will only increase as travel restrictions are lifted.”

The group said its summer programme stood at just over half – 55% – of that seen in summer 2019 before the pandemic struck, with flights to 32 green and amber list destinations.

Jet2 said it had seen a positive financial contribution from flying to date over the summer, with demand boosted following the Government’s move to allow quarantine-free travel to amber list destinations for the fully vaccinated from July 19.

But it added that customers continue to book last minute due to uncertainty over the travel traffic light system.

It comes as airlines Ryanair and Wizz Air reported rising passenger numbers in August.

Ryanair said it flew 11.1 million passengers last month, up from 9.3 million in July and seven million last August thanks to EU Covid-19 test certificates boosting overseas travel.

It operated 71,000 flights in August, with its load factor – a measure of how well it fills its planes – rising to 82% from 80% in July.

Central and Eastern European carrier Wizz Air saw passenger numbers rise to 3.6 million, up from 2.4 million a year ago.