Jet2holidays, the UK’s second largest Atol holder, has pledged further “responsible” growth of the package holiday business.

Fuelled by the opening of bases at Birmingham airport and Stansted, the company is expanding the Jet2 fleet with 14 more Boeing 737-800 aircraft this winter in addition to 16 added a year ago and a further four to be delivered in time for summer 2019.

Chief executive Steve Heapy told more than 500 trade guests at a World Travel Market dinner: “At our first annual dinner seven years ago, I was telling hoteliers that we had just taken 64,000 people on holiday the previous financial year and that we were the 27th largest tour operator in the UK.

“This financial year, our Atol licence was for 2.27 million customers, representing growth of over 3,500% in the last seven years and making Jet2holidays the UK’s second largest tour operator.

“That growth is far from done, and with the support of the industry, we will continue to grow in a responsible way over the coming years, filling hotels with customers from all over the UK on a package holiday they can trust.”

He also outlined how the operator has supported hoteliers by leading the fight against fake sickness claims.

This includes reporting immoral and illegal practices by claims companies to the regulator, cancelling forward bookings from customers who have made fraudulent claims, and hiring private detectives in resort to crack down on claims companies.

As a result, the government recently launched a call for evidence to give ministers a greater insight into the issue and help identify ways to tackle it.

Heapy pledged to continue putting quality at the heart of everything Jet2holidays does and to continue its “unwavering focus” on providing the best customer service in the industry, which has seen the company win multiple awards this year.

Travel Weekly coverage of World Travel Market