Unijet takes on rivals with short-haul growth

Unijet takes on rivals with short-haul growth

UNIJET has introduced five new destinations in the Mediterranean for summer 2000 as it looks to expand its share of the short-haul market.

Unijet sales and marketing manager Alan Hopley said it wanted to convince agents the operator is a serious alternative to Thomson, Airtours and its owner First Choice.

"It is a gradual educational process with agents," he said.

Hopley declined to reveal growth targets or capacity increases for 2000 but insisted the operator was being sensible.

New to the programme is Costa Dorada, featuring the resorts of La Pineda and Salou.

Short-haul general manager John Riley said: "We were in Costa Dorada until 1995 but at that stage the accommodation type did not fit in with Unijet.

"But our expansion means we need to offer areas of significant volume."

Costa Dorada is served from Gatwick, Birmingham, Manchester and Belfast. Sorrento is also new to the programme, with flights from Gatwick, Birmingham and Manchester.

The Greek islands of Zakynthos and Kos and Belek in Turkey have also been added.

In total, 80 properties are new, including five all-inclusives. Cruising on the First Choice ship Bolero is offered for the first time.

Summer sun prices are up around 2% on 1999 although Riley said some rates will be held.

Unijet has also launched its Greece brochure with Gouves, Kokini and Elounda new in Crete and Lixouri and Agia Efimia added in Kefalonia.

Meanwhile, Hopley denied the delay to the second-edition Turkey brochure was caused by the current bookings crisis.

Despite admitting Turkey has had a tough time, he said there was little to add to the existing 2000 brochure.

Brochures: second-edition Summersun and Greece (on sale today); Florida (September 6); Caribbean (on sale now); Las Vegas and California (September 6).

Offers: Summersun - free child places; Florida - free meals, two weeks for one; Las Vegas and California - savings of £120 per couple; Caribbean - free room upgrades, two weeks for one.

Example price: £329 per person for seven nights all inclusive in the Algarve (Summersun).


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