Jet2 has emerged as the big winner in the rejuvenated package holiday market, with big expansion plans for 2017. With fears of terrorism and the failure of Lowcostholidays.com there has been a shift back towards the popularity of package holidays.
Thomas Cook's sensible strategy of concentrating on higher margin business, and a period of instability for Monarch has left a window of opportunity for Jet2 and they look to have seized it.
Jet2 are relatively small compared to the duopoly of easyJet and Ryanair in low cost carrier sector, however they alone have seen the opportunity to create package holidays with their own brand and executed it with great success. Perhaps easyJet and Ryanair are happy to concentrate on being the airline and allowing others to package up their flights, but seeing the success of Jet2 makes you wonder at an opportunity missed by the two big boys.
Jet2’s rapid expansion has seen it close in on Thomas Cook, creating a new ‘big three’ in travel, latest Atol data reveals. The operator’s new licence is 45% bigger than its previous Atol and allows it to carry 2.27 million passengers in the 12 months to September 30 next year. The Atol permits it to carry just 263,000 fewer passengers than Thomas Cook, whose licensed capacity has fallen by 19% from around 3.25 million to 2.54 million for the year from October 1. The steep drop reflects Cook’s focus on higher-margin business and a lower forecast for this year. Tui is out on its own with a licence for 5.3 million passengers, more than double Cook’s figures. Jet2 has announced significant expansion this year, adding bases in Birmingham and Stansted.