Jet2 to create 200 jobs in holidays link up with Liverpool John Lennon Airport
More than 200 jobs will be created by the expansion of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays to Liverpool John Lennon Airport (LJLA).
The Leeds-based group has announced the airport will become its 11th UK base, and Jet2.com and Jet2holidays chief executive, Steve Heapy, said hundreds more jobs could follow with further expansion.
The UK’s largest tour operator and third largest airline has put 20 sunshine destinations on sale for Summer ’24 from LJLA, in response to enormous demand from customers and independent travel agents across the region.
The programme includes seven destinations that are exclusive to Jet2.com and Jet2holidays from Liverpool – Gran Canaria, Menorca, Rhodes, Zante, Madeira, Paphos and Bourgas (Bulgaria). The first Jet2.com flight from the airport will depart on March 28, 2024, in time for the Easter holidays.
In their first summer of operations from LJLA, Jet2.com and Jet2holidays will operate up to 54 weekly flights, including 12 flights to both the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands every week. A fleet of four based aircraft will fly customers to a wide choice of destinations across mainland Spain, the Canary Islands, the Balearic Islands, Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, Portugal, Madeira and Cyprus.
Mr Heapy said more aircraft could be based in Liverpool depending on the right conditions and demand. He told TheBusinessDesk.com the group began operations at Birmingham Airport in 2007 with four aircraft, and now base 13 there. He said each aircraft creates around 50-70 jobs, so hundreds more new roles could follow with expansion.
He said: “This is a big area for us and we think there’s a lot of customers here to experience our product.
“We see a lot of job creation in skilled and unskilled roles. We can increase things significantly over the next few years. If the demand is there, the sky’s the limit.”
This is a significant programme for the company’s first summer of operations from LJLA, representing 565,000 seats on sale. Average security queue times at LJLA were around 12 minutes last summer and it boasted more on time departures than most other UK airports.
Jet2.com and Jet2holidays say their arrival at LJLA represents a significant investment for the region. More than 200 jobs will be created initially, with positions available across flight deck, cabin crew, engineering, and ground operations.
Since launching with two aircraft and eight destinations in February 2003, Jet2.com has expanded to become the UK’s third largest airline, flying to more than 68 sun, leisure city and ski destinations with a fleet of 119 aircraft operating this summer.
Jet2holidays launched in 2007 and today it is the UK’s largest tour operator with an ATOL licence to carry 5.86 million passengers. When it launched in 2007 it had an ATOL licence to carry just 23,000 passengers to 15 destinations, whereas today it operates to more than 65 destinations across the Mediterranean, Canary Islands and Europe.
Mr Heapy said: “This announcement further expands our footprint and comes on the back of the enormous demand that we know is out there from customers and independent travel agents across Liverpool, Merseyside and the wider region.
“We have seen that demand really ramp up over the past couple of years, so we know there will be a fantastic response to this launch. We have seen time and time again how popular our product is when we bring it to new customers, and we look forward to showcasing our VIP customer service to holidaymakers from Liverpool John Lennon Airport and delighting them with our product.”
He added: “The announcement of our 11 th UK airport reflects our long term strategy to continue growing responsibly to become the UK’s leading and best leisure travel business. It also means significant investment in the region, with four based aircraft coming into operation and the creation of over 200 new jobs.
“Between now and Summer 24, our focus is on ensuring everything is ready to launch operations, so that from day one we can provide customers from Liverpool John Lennon Airport the same award-winning service which has delighted millions of other customers from across the UK for so many years.”
John Irving, Liverpool John Lennon Airport CEO, said: “This is a great day for the airport and for the region’s holidaymakers.
“For the first time travellers from across the Liverpool City Region and beyond will have the opportunity to book package holidays with the UK’s leading package holiday provider, direct from Liverpool John Lennon Airport – bringing together the current Which? Travel Brand of the Year with the current Which? Best UK Airport.”
He added: “It’s also great to have seven new routes available that we know will be popular with holidaymakers and for our local independent travel agents to be able to sell, with customers taking advantage of all the convenience and hassle-free benefits of flying from Liverpool.”
And he said the airport will add to its headcount to handle the extra traffic: “Jobs will be a mix, between Jet2 and us, but we will bring in more people, such as security and handling.
“This is part of the initial start to get Jet2 here. Four aircraft is amazing, and we believe this place can be much bigger than it is and that will bring in more jobs.”