An optimistic outlook: Jet2 expects summer 2021 demand to return close to 2019 levels

Sep 4, 2020

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Jet2 is looking to the future — more specifically, 2021. The airline released its expectation for the future of travel, and for its summer 2021 travel schedule, it expects load factors to have picked back up to pre-pandemic levels.

In the company’s Annual General Meeting on Thursday, Executive Chairman Philip Meeson outlined the airline’s optimism. It’s partly based on average load factors for summer 2021 flights being already ahead of what they were at the same point last year. The revelation is promising, the airline believes, as it shows people are looking forward to travelling next summer and are booking seats with confidence.

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“For summer 2021, we plan to fly to all our popular leisure destinations with an appropriate, tailored level of service, which we anticipate will be close to summer 2019 seat capacity level”, said Meeson.

It hasn’t been all smooth flying since the airline took to the skies again on 15 July. Summer 2020 only saw 40% of the traffic that the airline is used to, and bookings for winter 2020/2021 are slower than usual. This is likely because of the current trend of passengers booking travel closer to the departure date, as fears of volatile quarantine regulations and spiking outbreak levels are providing extra reason for caution.

For similar reasons, the airline announced on Thursday that it would be cancelling the remainder of its summer schedule to Alicante (ALC), Barcelona (BCN), Dubrovnik (DBV), Málaga (AGP) and Split (SPU). The airline tweeted customer updates to explain that “Because of ongoing uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the current U.K. government advice, we have taken the difficult decision to suspend all flights and holidays to Mainland Spain and Dubrovnik and Split for the rest of summer 2020”.

Related: Jet2 holiday flights from UK regional airports to NYC from £289 return, but are they worth it?

Elsewhere, in July, British Airways released some holiday deals for summer 2021 around four months earlier than usual. London Gatwick‘s largest airline, EasyJet, has announced an increase in flights for summer 2021 from its South London hub.

However, a number of airlines have disclosed that they don’t expect travel demand to return to 2019 levels for years to come. In the second-quarter earnings call of BA’s parent company IAG, CEO Willie Walsh said the group doesn’t expect to see passenger demand reaching pre-coronavirus levels until at least 2023.

Featured image by Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto/Getty Images.

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