Jet2 owners Dart Group take off with new airport base

DART GROUP, owners of Jet2 are showing no signs of a slowdown according to group chief executive Philip Meeson.

The company, which announced the creation of 1,000 jobs via subsidiary last week, is also launching London Stansted Aiport as its ninth UK base.

The company said it had “great potential” serving the populations of areas of London and the East of England.

It said it expected to see passengers on board holiday flights by spring 2017.

Mr Meeson did however warn that group operating profit will be behind market expectations despite good trading performance due to costs relating to the London Stansted launch and Birmingham airport bases.

At the company’s AGM later today, Mr Meeson will say: “The good start to the financial year as reported in our Preliminary Results Statement of 14 July 2016 has continued, with summer Leisure Travel bookings showing no signs of slowdown. Demand for our higher margin package holiday products continues to grow and as a result the number of package holiday customers, as a proportion of total departing customers, is also increasing.

“Though airline ticket yields and load factors are slightly lower than those achieved in summer 2015, this is against a backdrop of a 13% increase in seat capacity. Leisure Travel bookings for winter 2016/17 are satisfactory at this early stage.

“Continued encouraging progress is being made at Fowler Welch, our Distribution & Logistics business, which is currently trading in line with expectations.

“In view of the significant investment which will be committed in the second half of this financial year to launch our London Stansted and recently announced Birmingham Airport bases, it is likely that Group operating profit will be slightly behind current market expectations despite the good trading performance achieved in the year to date.”