Jet2 Bets On A Strong Summer Holiday Season Despite COVID-19

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Jet2 is due to operate 365 routes this summer, with Manchester firmly its top base, followed by Birmingham – which has grown hugely for the carrier. Jet2 has added nine airports to its route map this summer, which now sees 68 airports and 17 countries.

Jet2 B757
Jet2’s B757-200s are only expected from Manchester this summer. Photo: Jonathan Palombo via Wikimedia.

Manchester will be by far Jet2’s top base this summer, as it has been for years. It is one of 10 bases for the carrier, with its 10th – Bristol – due to open this July, subject as ever to whether the ban on foreign holidays is indeed lifted as hoped.

The speed with which Birmingham and London Stansted began and grew is phenomenal, with Birmingham now the airline’s second-largest base. Jet2 will be Birmingham’s biggest airline this summer by scheduled capacity, OAG data shows.

Leeds Bradford, originally Jet2’s top airport, has been very firmly second-largest since summer 2014, significantly ahead of others. No surprise for what was always a traditionally northern airline. Yet Stansted overtook the Yorkshire airport in just two summers, with Leeds Bradford now (marginally) fourth.

Jet2's bases
Bristol was to be Jet2’s second-smallest base this summer, ahead of Belfast International, but the opening of its West Country base was pushed back to July. A host of other Bristol routes, including Izmir, Paphos, and Reus, are now scheduled for 2022. Source: OAG Schedules Analyzer

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365 routes this summer

Jet2 expects to operate 365 routes this summer, analyzing OAG data shows, up from 354 before pre-pandemic summer 2019.

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69 routes have been added since then, but 58 cut. While a good number are permanent cuts, it isn’t as dramatic as it first appears. Some route eliminations are temporary and will resume in 2022, while various ski-focused services operated for a few days before the season handover won’t now for obvious reasons. Geneva, Grenoble, Lyon, Salzburg, and Turin fall into this category, with most routes now restarting from December.

Jet2 B737-800
East Midlands is Jet2’s sixth-largest base this summer. Photo: Getty Images.

Nine airports added

Jet2’s network has remained very strong despite coronavirus. It has 68 airports in its network this summer, up from 65 before coronavirus hit. Nine airports have been added (Bristol, Kalamata, Lisbon, Mytilene, Mykonos, Preveza, Santorini, Skiathos, and Vienna). Meanwhile, six have been cut (Grenoble, Geneva, Lleida, Lyon, Salzburg, and Turin). Of these six, only Lleida has been properly cut.

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17 countries are expected to receive Jet2 flights this summer. Spain will always be overwhelmingly top, with nearly half (48%) of all key season seats across 113 routes. But the carrier’s Spanish seat capacity is down by nearly 1.8 million over summer 2019.

As with many other airlines, such as TUI, it’s now all about Greece and Turkey, the second- and third-largest markets for Jet2. It expects over 830,000 extra seats to the pair on the back of six additional airports and routes growing from 91 to 126. This chimes with Heathrow too, which is due 12 routes to Greece and over a million seats this summer.

Jet2 B757
Jet2’s B757-200s are expected to operate 16 routes this summer, down from 67 from two summers ago at the time of writing. Photo: Getty Images.

Top-20 routes

Jet2’s leading airport, Manchester, is set to have 56 routes, up by four over summer 2019 and nearly double the number at the start of the decade. Manchester features eight times in the carrier’s top-20 routes, including taking the top-six spots, very clearly showing how important it is.

Jet2's top-20 routes
The importance of Manchester to Jet2 is clear. Source: OAG Schedules Analyzer.

Palma, Tenerife South, Dalaman, Faro, Alicante, and Antalya are Jet2’s largest destination airports, with Palma having more capacity than Jet2’s bases at East Midlands, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Belfast, and Bristol.

Do you think the UK government will end the ban on foreign holidays on May 17th? Comment below!

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