Pictured: Alistair Rowland
Members of The Midcounties Co-operative Travel Consortium have been told to ignore Jet2holidays at their peril following its “phenomenal” growth.
Jet2holidays is on course to become Midcounties Co-operative’s largest supplier as a result of its decision to launch a significant programme out of Birmingham, according to group general manager specialist retail Alistair Rowland.
Speaking at the Co-operative Travel Consortium’s conference in Portugal, Rowland told members they should be making the most of the new local capacity offered by Jet2holidays.
He said: “If you are not maximising that opportunity out of Birmingham Airport then you should be. If you are not hanging off its coat tails, you should be.”
Rowland admitted he was impressed by the operator’s growth, describing it as a “compelling” supplier to work with.
He said: “Jet2hoildays is a really big ticket for us and its growth is phenomenal. Suddenly you get 14 new routes and 600,000 new seats in your heartland. It feels like tour operating of old; I have never seen account management as high quality and as much of it.
“It’s certainly becoming our biggest tour operator. There is not a lot not to like. From an agent’s point of view there are no complaints, a £60 deposit and almost free availability. It’s really compelling.”
Rowland admitted growth of sales for Jet2holidays had affected the speed of growth of its own Co-operative Holidays brand, launched at the start of the year.
"Although we are pleased with the progress of our own bed stock and tour operating programme, what has stopped rapid growth of Co-operative Holidays is Jet2holidays,” he said.
Sales of Jet2holidays through consortium members have increased by 53% for summer 2016, just “a couple of hundred passengers off Thomas Cook”, according to head Alison Holmes.
For winter 2016, Jet2holidays’s sales through consortium members are 168% up on this time last year and 96% up for summer 2017. This makes it currently the second biggest supplier through the consortium for next year behind ATOL sales.
Rowland said he envisaged Jet2holidays will become the UK’s second largest group after Tui next year in terms of its licenced passenger volumes.
It is currently the third biggest, according to the Civil Aviation Authority’s Atol figures. Rowland said: “I am sure next year it (Jet2holidays) will become number two by volume.”
In September Jet2 announced it would be launching flights out of Stansted next spring.
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