UK leisure operator Jet2 has exercised purchase rights for 6 Airbus A321 neo aircraft, bringing the airline’s firm order tally to 57 aircraft of the type.
The travel group announced this in a trading update released on the London stock exchange on April 8, 2022. The airline already has additional options which could extend the order up to a total of 75 aircraft.
Jet2’s fleet comprises Boeing 737 and 757 models. However, as part of the operator’s fleet renewal Jet2 placed an order for 36 A321 neos in August 2021, moving away from Boeing.
In October 2021, the operator ordered an additional 15 A321neos with deliveries expected between 2026 and 2029. This brought its total firm order tally to 51 aircraft, after recording a surge in bookings for winter 2021 and summer 2022.
The relaxation of UK travel restrictions in early 2022 has resulted in favorable conditions for the travel group ahead of summer 2022. In the trading update, it said bookings increased following the rules easing, while average load factors in February and March 2022 were near to normal levels.
Jet2 said that it has 14% more seat capacity on sale for summer 2022 than in summer 2019.
It said it was seeing “booking momentum accelerating, customer confidence continuing to grow and pricing robust, as customers treat themselves to their long anticipated and well-deserved holidays.”
In a nod to recent flight cancelations seen across the UK, which have hit Easter travel plans for many, Jet2 said it had “worked hard” to plan for the recovery and invested early. “We also self-handle at many of our key bases and are therefore not reliant on third parties for these aspects of our operations,” it added.
For the financial year to March 31, 2022, the airline expects to report a loss before tax of between £378 million and £383 million ($493 – $499 million).
The carrier also reported having a total cash balance of £2.23bn as of March 31, 2022, and a strong Own Cash’ balance (excluding customer advance deposits) of £1.08bn.
As the industry grapples with high oil and jet fuel prices Jet2 finds itself in a favorable position ahead of summer. The airline revealed that its jet fuel expenses are 95% hedged for summer 2022 and 65% hedged for Winter 22/23.
The airline will announce preliminary results for the year ended March 31, 2022, on July 7, 2022, when it will give more details of summer 2022 trading.