What are Jet2.com’s key bases?
Jet2.com started scheduled leisure services in 2003 and now offers services from seven UK bases: Leeds Bradford, Manchester, Newcastle, Belfast, Blackpool, Edinburgh and East Midlands. This will grow to eight in 2011 with the addition of Glasgow in March.
What type of destination does Jet2.com serve?
We operate 159 routes to 53 destinations in 22 countries across Europe and North Africa. Majorca, Alicante and Malaga are among our most popular destinations. Other important markets include Italy and France, and new services have been introduced in the past two years to Cyprus, Greece, Israel, Turkey and Tunisia.
How do you describe your operation?
Our primary business is scheduled traffic but we also have an important charter market operating over 800 flights a year, for a variety of clients. For example, we were the largest single provider of aircraft for the 2010 UEFA Cup Final, with 11 aircraft in Hamburg at one time, and ACMI services are regularly provided for other carriers, including British Airways and Thomas Cook. A unique part of our business is our long-standing relationship with the Royal Mail – we provide overnight mail services for them using a fleet of eight Boeing 737-300 ‘Quick Change’ aircraft.
What is your fleet makeup and what are the benefits of this mix?
Our fleet is made up of 10 B757-200s and 24 B737-300s. We are unique in having eight B737-300 ‘Quick Change’ aircraft, which we use for passenger flights during the day and contract freight flights at night. We love the B757, which delivers fantastic economics and allows us to operate a wide variety of routes. For example, this year we’re operating on routes as diverse as Leeds–New York and Manchester–Geneva. The mix of B757 and B737 allows us to match capacity with demand by season, which is a huge advantage in today’s economic environment.
What do you want to hear from airports and tourism authorities at Routes events?
Like most LCCs, attractive pricing is a key requirement, but we also want to see positive marketing plans and willingness from airports and tourism authorities to build new markets jointly. Over the years, there has been a distinct improvement in the quality of discussions, and we see a far greater degree of realism on what may work.
What was your first job in the aviation industry?
I started as a commercial executive at Loganair Limited at Glasgow Airport. It was a great job to start in, with lots of variety, ranging from organising charters to Spain to operating the world’s shortest scheduled air service between Papa Westray and Westray in the Orkney Islands.
What attracted you to the industry?
I’ve been interested in aviation since I was a child. I also love the variety and fast-moving pace of the industry. The technology never ceases to amaze me and the sheer volume of people travelling through hub airports like Heathrow is a constant wonder.
What is the best piece of business advice that you have ever received?
Many years ago I remember Jan Carlson at SAS saying that one mistake to avoid is adding excessive capacity when things are going well. I wonder how many US airline executives might look back on that now as good advice.
Describe yourself in three words.
A proud Scotsman!
Who do you admire and why?
I come from a family of medics, so top of my list are doctors who work long hours and perform a far more important function in life than me.
This article appears in Routes News 2010 Issue 6