Jet2’s ‘encouraging’ bookings after expected loss of £383m | City & Business | Finance

The airline and package break operator is laying on more flights this year than before the pandemic struck because of a bounceback in demand. The holiday giant’s seat capacity is up 14 percent on summer 2019. In a trading update yesterday, it said bookings were accelerating, with “customer confidence continuing to grow and pricing robust, as customers treat themselves to their long-anticipated and well-deserved holidays”.

However, it follows a year in which the giant was again hit hard by Covid travel restrictions.

The removal of pre-departure tests for vaccinated people travelling to the UK, then no longer having to take a post-arrival lateral flow test, led to a “material” increase in trade earlier this year, Jet2 said.

Load factor – how full its planes flew – approached seasonal norms in February and March. But it followed a stop-start end to 2021, with the dropping of the Government’s Covid traffic-light system triggering a rise in bookings, then the emergence of the Omicron strain dampening demand.

Jet2 said the group still expects to report a loss for the year to the end of March of between £378million and £383million.

The company was started more than 30 years ago and flew its first leisure flight from Leeds Bradford Airport to Amsterdam in 2003. is now Britain’s third-largest airline, flying from 10 UK airports to more than 60 destinations across Europe and beyond.

Jet2holidays is the country’s second-largest package holiday operator.

The plc’s share price is down by more than a third from the peak it reached in February 2020, just before the Covid pandemic struck.

However, the shares were up more than four percent in early afternoon trading yesterday.

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