offers almost 100 routes from six UK bases; Murcia is surprise top European destination from UK

Image: jet2 plane
Jet2 uses 737-300s a lot. The airline’s nine 757s also allow longer-haul routes like Sharm El-Sheik, Dalaman and soon Tel Aviv (starting in a couple of week’s time).

Logo: jet2Launched in February 2003 from Leeds/Bradford airport, Dart Group owned has established itself as a significant low-cost carrier with several bases in the north of the UK and a fleet of 30 aircraft. has previously examined its Leeds/Bradford base but the airline’s network, which this summer will consist of almost 100 routes, continues to expand across several UK bases so this time the airline as a whole will be analysed.

Chart: development
Source: UK CAA

After rapid growth in 2007 the airline reduced capacity in 2008 and saw passenger numbers fall by almost 15%. However, the average load factor was pushed up almost six percentage points to 79.3%. Capacity this summer looks to be broadly in line with last summer though the number of routes has increased by around 25% while frequencies have been reduced in several markets.

With a strong focus on leisure destinations in Spain the airline’s demand profile is extremely seasonal. In winter months passenger numbers are just one-fifth of what they are during the summer resulting in some extreme variation in aircraft utilisation statistics.

Chart: variation in demand
Source: UK CAA

Less than 6% of passengers in 2008 were travelling on domestic routes. This summer the airline operates just six domestic routes linking Leeds/Bradford with Belfast International, Jersey and Newquay, and Belfast with Blackpool, Jersey and Newquay. Services from Manchester and Newcastle to London Gatwick were provided a few years ago but are no longer operated.

Six UK bases in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland

Analysis of which airports have the most weekly flights this summer reveals that Leeds/Bradford is still the leading airport but that the airline also has bases at Manchester, Belfast, Blackpool, Edinburgh and Newcastle. In terms of fleet allocation Leeds/Bradford has eight 737s and four 757s, Manchester has two 737s and four 757s. Edinburgh and Newcastle each have three aircraft while Belfast and Blackpool have two each. The remaining two 737s are based at Exeter (purely for cargo flights) and London Stansted (a mix of freight and charter flights).

Chart:’s top 12 airports
Source: OAG Max Online for w/c 6 July 2009

The leading destinations in Europe include the usual suspects such as Alicante, Faro, Malaga and Palma but’s favourite foreign destination is Murcia with 33 weekly flights, and links to all six of the airline’s UK bases. Murcia is located around 60 kilometres south-west of Alicante but handled just 1.9 million passengers last year compared with 9.6 million at Alicante.

Image: jet2 mamed Murcia
Murcia is so important they named a plane after it. Murcia, 60km south-west of Alicante is Jet2’s favourite non-UK destination this summer with 33 weekly flights, and links to all six of the airline’s UK bases.

Serving 46 airports in 18 countries this summer

Among the 46 airports served this summer by the airline are destinations in Croatia, Cyprus, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Poland and Switzerland. Apart from a wide-range of ‘summer-sun’ destinations around the Mediterranean also serves popular city-break favourites such as Amsterdam, Barcelona, Budapest, Cork, Dűsseldorf, Geneva, Krakow, Milan (Bergamo), Paris, Pisa, Prague, Rome and Venice. A few markets such as Bergen, Berlin, Hamburg Lűbeck, Madrid, Valencia and Warsaw have, over the last six years, been tried and found wanting.

Image: jet2 flight to New York
Fairytale of New York: It really happened – Jet2’s Christmas Shopping flights to the Big Apple last December.

Christmas in New York

Last December the airline ran a handful of flights to New York, primarily aimed at Christmas shoppers, while this summer the airline proposed to offer a brief programme of flights to Albert Picardie Somme (BYF) airport in France aimed at people interested in tracing their family history during the First World War. Sadly this route was not launched due to insufficient demand.


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