Since Philip Meeson’s company started carrying passengers 16 years ago, his Jet2holidays Division has risen from the bottom to No. 1 in the UK’s top tour operators.
It has surpassed Tui Group by surpassing its Atol license for the year by almost 500,000 passengers, to 5.9 million. This puts it over half a million passengers in front of its Anglo-German counterpart.
It claims it has the largest summer program in its history, with over 15 million seats to 65 destinations. It was granted a license to transport 23,000 passengers to 15 destinations in 2007.
Jet2holidays has 15 million seats and will fly to 65 destinations in the summer.
Ryanair and easyJet seem to delight in wringing every pound from their customers, but Jet2 asserts that customer service, which includes a 22kg baggage allowance is a key component, was a key ingredient during the pandemic.
The former RAF pilot is so passionate about his customers, he was once warned by police about his behavior after he gave an expletive-laden evaluation to Manchester airport check-in staff who he felt were letting his side down.
He was a pilot with the Marlboro-sponsored Pitts Special aerobatics group and was British champion five more times. He admitted that he was forced to leave the RAF quickly. They wanted me to fly fighter bombers. He said, “We had a fight over that and I fled.”
It has been a lucrative decision to change his approach and start his own business. The group’s chairman at 75, Meeson sold more shares than PS42m in December.
Jet2, formerly known as Dart Group was established by Meeson in 1980 as a freight operator. It focuses today mainly on tour operations, Jet2holidays and Jet2.com. It predicted it would beat the market in a trading update last month.
Steve Heapy (53), the Jet2 chief executive said that he is not interested in becoming the largest, but only being the best. We are the best because we are now the largest and that will not change. Our customer proposition will not be sacrificed for growth.
Yesterday’s closing price of Jet2 shares was PS12.24, up 20 1/2 p or 1.7%
Heathrow saw more than 5.4 million passengers travel through it in January. This was the busiest month since 2020. John Holland-Kaye who is retiring as chief executive of the airport, said that the airport had returned to its best.
Passenger numbers increased by 111% over last year’s 2.65 million, and were 10% lower than the 6.1 million in 2020 before the pandemic.
According to the airport, overall passenger satisfaction levels are at or above pre-pandemic levels. Last month, 98% of passengers waited less than 10 minutes to get through security.
Heathrow stated that it is well-equipped to handle the influx of passengers during half-term, despite disruptions from Border Force strikes in Dec.
The airport supported the announcements by Virgin Atlantic and British Airways about resuming ticket sales to China.