JetXtra.com has withdrawn its claim that a threat of legal action by an established carrier forced it to stop selling tickets, following a rebuke from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
Start-up carrier JetXtra, a partner of travel group CTT, plans to operate flights from Humberside airport to Majorca and Malaga for three months from June. Seats went on sale in the second week of January, with the carrier saying all sales would be protected under the CTT Atol.
JetXtra claimed yesterday that it halted sales at the weekend following a threat of legal action by regional carrier Jet2. However, the CAA confirmed it ordered a stop to sales to prevent the booking of unlicensed holidays.
A CAA spokesman said: "We have been in contact with JetXtra.com and we are talking with CTT Group. We have not sorted out an increase in seat allocation, but are in coversation about extending it."
CTT holds a licence to carry just 620 passengers in the year to September and only 150 this summer when JetXtra hopes to carry 9,000 passengers. The CAA previously confirmed to Travel Weekly that JetXtra would only be allowed to offer the number of seats for which CTT is licensed unless it approved an extension.
The CAA said: "CTT sought permission to trade with JetXtra.com. We have not yet approved that and until we do it cannot sell holidays. We would not allow a company to sell seats it does not have a licence for." The spokesman confirmed: "This has nothing to do with Jet2."
However, the JetXtra website claimed yesterday that the halt in sales was "due to Jet2.com legal threats". Jet2.com has written to JetXtra suggesting its name is "misleading".
In a statement, Jet2.com said: "JetXtra published an article on its website that falsely blamed Jet2.com for the CAA's decision to halt its ticket sales, something the CAA has confirmed as 'entirely untrue'. The CAA verified its decision had nothing to do with Jet2.com and was made solely to protect consumers."
Jet2.com commercial director Steve Lee said: “For JetXtra to claim Jet2.com was responsible in any way for the cessation of ticket sales is untrue and totally misleading. We had communicated with JetXtra in private over legal concerns."
Lee described the public use of this correspondence as "amateurish and damaging and a clear example of why we do not want any confusion among consumers between JetXtra and Jet2.com".
He said: "As an Atol-protected leisure company, Jet2.com adheres to the highest levels of professionalism within all areas of our business. We are understandably keen to protect the good reputation of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays.”
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