Independent agents buoyed by Cook’s Jet2 move

Independent agents buoyed by Cook’s Jet2 move

See also – Comment: Cook’s decision to pull Jet2 plug was all but inevitable

Independent agents are poised to capitalise on their commercial advantage as the sole sellers of Jet2holidays on the high street.

Thomas Cook ended its commercial agreement with the operator and sister airline Jet2.com last week. Tui ditched the operator in December.

Jet2holidays is understood to make a third of its sales through the trade.
Millington Travel, which has 10 branches in the Midlands, has begun promoting Jet2 in online videos, shop posters and e-shots.

Managing director Nigel Armitage said: “From our point of view, if you can market yourself with a big name, why not? When opportunities come up like this, we jump on it and market it.”

Neil Basnett, chief executive of Elite Travel Group, said some of its 60 members were also looking at ways to promote the Jet2 brand more heavily. He added: “As far as the independent sector is concerned it’s excellent news because they are now the only outlet on the high street where customers can book Jet2, Thomson and Thomas Cook.”

John Sullivan, head of commercial at Advantage Travel Partnership, said: “You can expect more marketing with agents. Typically average selling prices are higher through agents than online because the agent can bring the holiday to life and sell upgrades.”

Midcounties Co-operative Group travel general manager Alistair Rowland said: “Jet2 has delivered new customers to us who still want a one-to-one interaction, which is really positive.”

However, some agents fear Jet2 could begin selling more direct and have called for price parity.

Spear Travels managing director Peter Cookson said: “It would be a coup for independents if Jet2holidays had price parity. As it is, this makes it only more likely Jet2holidays will go direct-sell. Their business model was never set up with the trade in mind.”

Jet2holidays said its business model works and there were no plans to offer price parity.

See also – Comment: Cook’s decision to pull Jet2 plug was all but inevitable

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