Former Monarch and Ryanair boss Tim Jeans has returned to the travel industry to run easyJet’s new ‘Fearless Flyer’ programme.
Jeans has taken a year away from travel but is now co-owner of Fear of Flying Events, which he has set up with a former director of the Horse of the Year Show.
The pair are working exclusively with easyJet initially in the UK, but has plans to roll the course out across Europe to the whole of the budget carrier’s route network.
Jeans said his programme ‘truly breaks the mould’, turning the fear of flying course concept from an “expensive classroom-based cottage industry” to an “affordable experience-led event”.
His programme features Lawrence Leyton who recently appeared on Channel 4, curing 38 out of 40 flying phobics.
The course involves a combination of factual knowledge from an easyJet captain about the safety record of flying and explanations about turbulence and a series of techniques to re-programme delegates’ minds to think positive thoughts about flying instead of disastrous ones.
All delegates who attend the course will then be offered a free ‘experience flight’ the following weekend while the course is still fresh in their minds.
The course costs £129, siginifcantly less than British Airways’ and Virgin Atlantic’s equivalent offerings, which Jeans said cost £239 and £255 respectively.
He said: “One in six people have got some form of fear of flying so the constituency is huge. This course really complements easyJet’s core values around service.”
And Jeans added that while customers for the course would mainly be sourced by emailing easyJet’s database, agents would also play a role.
“Agents are going to be a big part of this, especially independents who really know their clients. They are bound to know people who might want to avail of a course at a town near them,” said Jeans.
The first courses are taking place in Glasgow, Bristol and Newcastle in November and Jeans expects to attract 150 to each one.
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