By John Flett
UK Leisure Carrier Jet2.com Extends Summer Schedule
The U.K. government will again revise the “traffic light” system of travel this week for passengers returning to England. The disparate governments of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales determine their own travel restrictions and may or may not follow the same criteria that apply to England. The last revision saw an increase in the number of countries added to the green and amber lists sparking an increase in travel.
The government’s next announcement comes in the final week of the summer holidays and maybe too late for most operator’s to capitalize on. However, the U.K.’s third-largest carrier Jet2.com has pre-empted the revision by adding capacity to its network and extending its summer season until the end of October at some bases. Jet2.com operates from London Stansted and nine regional bases in the U.K.: Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle.
“Destinations on the Green List are continuing to enjoy a huge amount of demand from our customers and once again we are responding quickly to that demand by giving holidaymakers even more choice and flexibility,” Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, said in a statement. “With more flights and holidays now on sale to Malta, Croatia, Jersey and Madeira, we know there will be a rush of bookings based on what we have already seen this summer and that is great news.”
Jet2.com offers seat-only fares, and its parent company Jet2 plc offers package holidays through its Jet2holidays subsidiary, the second-largest tour operator in the U.K. In 2019, the airline carried 14.39 million passengers and operated over 100 aircraft including 34 new Boeing 737-800 aircraft delivered between September 2016 and January 2019.
Malta will see an increase of 30 flights per week across the Jet2.com network with other destinations increasing services to add 10,000 additional seats into the network. The Mediterranean island has been extremely popular with U.K. travellers as the arrival requirements for fully vaccinated travellers have been less restrictive than other destinations.
The need to lift restrictions further for fully vaccinated travellers who leave and return to the U.K. has become a key push for aviation industry leaders to facilitate an increase in demand. Heapy reinforced this when announcing the increases to Jet2.com’s schedules.
“On one hand, we are very pleased to be adding more flights and holidays to such fantastic destinations, but on the other hand, we continue to be left frustrated that so many more destinations remain off the Green List for no discernible reason,” he said in a statement. We are now right in the middle of the peak holiday season so we urge the government to take the handbrake off international travel and adopt the same approach as it has to so many other areas of everyday life. The vaccination program continues to be a huge success so we should be able to enjoy the benefits of that, including enjoying our holidays this summer.”