Jet2 profits soar despite impact of Greek wildfires and air traffic control chaos

Airline and package holiday operator Jet2 has revealed a 19% hike in operating profits as it says customers continue to prioritise time away despite challenges in the economy.

The Leeds Bradford Airport-based firm said revenues were boosted 24% to £4.4.bn in the half year to the end of September as customers chose to travel later and increased plumped for the package deals. The gains came despite £14m of costs attached to disruption caused by wildfires in Rhodes and flooding in Skiathos, as well as systems failures at the UK air traffic control operator NATS and strikes in Europe.

The period, which includes Jet2’s summer peak, has set the carrier up to deliver expected pre-tax profits of between £480m and £520m. It said bookings for the winter season had been a bit slow but with a higher mix of package customers providing higher margins.

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For next summer, Jet2 is boosting seat capacity by 12% to 17.19m seats and said bookings and pricing for the period were so far encouraging, with average load factors 2.0ppts ahead of summer 2023 at the same point. It said losses were expected in the second half of this financial year due to investment in more aircrafts, marketing of the summer 2024 deals and recruitment of staff for its new base at Liverpool John Lennon Airport where it will open in late March 2024.

Just post the period end, Jet2 opened its 150,000 sqft Retail Operations Centre in Cheshire. The facility, which is set to create up to 300 jobs, is used to stock, manage and distribute millions of in-flight retail products, including food and drinks and items from the onboard shop including perfumes and gifts.

Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2 plc, said: “We are pleased to have delivered another strong financial performance during the first half of the financial year, despite the well-publicised external challenges faced. This clearly demonstrates that our end-to-end package holiday is a popular and resilient product and is the right product for price conscious customers.

“Our customer first ethos runs deep throughout our company culture with people, service, profits’ our guiding principles and our commitment to an innovative, value for money product and exceptional customer service is unwavering. We are truly grateful to have such exceptional colleagues who are not only some of the best in their profession but are also highly motivated and incredibly proud to provide this level of service.

“As a result, we remain confident that as a customer focused and much trusted holiday provider, our customers will continue to travel with us to the sun spots of the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands and to European leisure cities and that we can continue to deliver on our long-term strategy to be the UK’s leading and best leisure travel business.”

Original artice – https://business-live.co.uk/all-about/yorkshire-humber

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