UK low-fare leisure carrier Jet2.com is to introduce three new routes to its summer 2015 network at its largest base at Leeds Bradford Airport. The company will offer seat-only and package deals through its tour operator division Jet2holidays to Antalya in Turkey, the Mediterranean island of Malta plus the Greek island of Kefalonia, a first for the region
The new destinations are included in Jet2holidays bumper brochure collection for summer 2015 which was launched this week and includes its biggest ever Beach Holidays range, with 173 new hotels and 34 new resorts, plus Family Holidays, City & Short Breaks, the lifestyle collection On Tour and luxury option, Indulgent Escapes.
Jet2.com will offer two flights per week in summer 2015 to Antalya, a route also served during the summer months by Monarch Airlines and a weekly Saturday link to Malta, where it will add some choice in a market served by low-cost carrier, Ryanair. According to UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) data 15,564 and 34,512 passengers flew on these two routes in 2013. Kefalonia will be a brand new market from the Yorkshire airport and will be flown with a weekly Wednesday rotation.
Speaking to The HUB shortly after the expanded scheduled was revealed by Jet2.com, Tony Hallwood, aviation development and marketing director, Leeds Bradford Airport said the deal was hopefully just the start of further strategic growth and continued route and frequency development at the facility in 2015.
“Leeds Bradford Airport welcomes Jet2.com introducing services to Kefalonia for the first time from Yorkshire’s gateway airport. With 48 destinations on offer including new frequencies to Malta and Antalya, Leeds Bradford Airport’s largest leisure operator will be flying to 17 countries in 2015,” he said.
The three new routes will boost the Jet2.com offering by over 35,000 seats at Leeds Bradford to around 1.3 million for summer 2015 and will grow its network to 48 destinations. This further growth comes on the back of another successful year for the airline at the Yorkshire airport, with the businesses taking more than 1.5 million people to and from European destinations during 2013/14.
“Leeds is our heartland so we are always striving to bring our local passengers the very best choice of holiday options direct from their local airport. I don't think they will be disappointed with this latest trio of top European gems. Malta continues to grow in popularity and the addition of Antalya and Kefalonia means we now have three Turkish destinations and six Greek Islands for local people to take their pick from,” said Steve Heapy, chief executive officer, Jet2.com and Jet2holidays.
Jet2.com last year celebrated the tenth anniversary of its formation, a period during which it has played a major role in driving change within the UK travel business. The airline, a subsidiary of Dart Group and a sister entity to cargo operator Channel Express, was formed to support growing demand for low-cost air travel from the UK regions. Initially launching services from Leeds Bradford International Airport in February 2003 it has mainly focused on northern markets and now also has bases at Belfast, Blackpool, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester and Newcastle.
With the formation of sister company Jet2holidays it has since re-engineered the package holiday process by offering a low-cost holiday option to passengers, packaging its own scheduled seat capacity with hotel offerings to provide a full Inclusive Tour product with offerings highly competitive with its larger rivals thanks to its low-cost business structure.
In our analysis, below, we look at Jet2.com’s growth at Leeds Bradford Airport, its first and up until last year its largest UK base. Its Leeds Bradford operations accounted for 27.6 per cent of its total capacity from the UK in 2013, although growth at Manchester Airport has seen that leapfrog Leeds Bradford as Jet2.com’s largest base, based upon 2014 flight schedules.