British leisure travel company Jet2 is seeing slower demand for winter bookings, though is more optimistic for summer 2022.
“The slower momentum for Winter 21/22 bookings which we reported in our Preliminary Results in early July has remained,” chairman Philip Meeson said in a statement ahead of the company’s annual shareholder meeting on September 2, 2021.
“As a result, bookings have yet to match our on-sale seat capacity and therefore pricing for both our leisure travel products – end-to-end package holidays with Jet2holidays and flight-only seats with Jet2.com – will need to remain consistently enticing,” he said.
Jet 2 is therefore keeping its winter 2021/2022 capacity under constant review, Meeson added.
The Delta variant and continuing travel restrictions are causing many airlines’ concern for winter 2022. Icelandair, for example, said on August 31, 2021, it was reducing its capacity expectations for winter. Its winter capacity is currently around 65% of pre-crisis levels, whereas it had previously predicted it would ramp up to 70-80% of 2019 levels.
Jet2 is looking beyond the winter as well. For summer 2022, bookings are “encouraging”, Meeson said, with current average load factors ahead of where they were at this point for summer 2019 bookings.
“Therefore, we remain optimistic that Summer 22 will be a considerable improvement on both Summer 20 and Summer 21,” Meeson said.
The company resumed flights to vacation destinations from July 19, 2021, after the British government relaxed travel restrictions.
However, the government’s travel light system classing destinations as red, amber, or green and which is reviewed every three weeks means customers are leaving it until the last minute to book, Meeson said.
Jet2 is looking ahead to the future with an order of up to 60 A321neo aircraft from Airbus, which it announced on August 31, 2021.
“We believe opportunities for financially strong, resilient and trusted operators will only increase as travel restrictions are lifted,” Meeson said.