Friday, 27 January 2023, 10:31
Two decades ago, the British airline Jet2.com began its journey in Spain with a flight from Leeds that landed in Malaga. Twenty years later, the company continues to expand its operations at the airport with the opening, this summer, of a new route that will link the Costa del Sol with the English city of Bristol - four times a week.
The announcement was made by the CEO of the company, Steve Heapy, who marked the twentieth anniversary at an event at the Palacio de los Duques Gran Meliá in Madrid, which brought together key players from the industry and tourism bodies in Spain. Heapy showed his optimism regarding the challenges of 2023 and said that "the forecasts for this summer in Spain are for additional growth of 4% compared to 2022.”
In 2019, the company carried almost one million British tourists (964,123) to the Costa del Sol, becoming the fifth most important by volume of passengers at Malaga Airport.
Heapy highlighted the evolution of the group since it arrived in Spain in 2003 and explained that "the presence of Jet2.com, and its associated tour operator, Jet2holidays, created in 2007, has grown steadily since that day. From offering four routes to four destinations, in 2003, to the current 114 routes to 13 destinations between the Spanish mainland, the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands, until Jet2holidays became, in 2017, the largest tour operator from the United Kingdom to Spain”.
In the case of Malaga, last summer it operated 60 flights a week between the Costa del Sol airport and the United Kingdom, with a global offer of 700,000 seats in both directions and generating 220 jobs including different tasks such as ground operations, contracting, technical and engineers at the airport. The company's commitment allowed non-stop flights from Malaga to Leeds-Bradford, Manchester, Newcastle, Birmingham, London Stansted, East Midlands, Belfast, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Bristol.
In addition, the tour operator Jet2holidays, which is the leader between the United Kingdom and the Costa del Sol, had direct contracting relationships last summer season with more than 120 hotels and 17 resorts along the coast.
“The 20th anniversary comes at a peak time for the company. In 2022 it has established itself as the second airline that has carried the most Britons to Spain, more than 4.1 million, that is, one in four Brits who have travelled to Spain in 2002. We have increased the figures even compared to the summer of 2019, in the face of a general drop in air traffic between the two countries," he highlighted.
The British group’s estimated contribution to the Spanish GDP for its activity last year was 3.5billion euros, employing, in addition, more than 1,500 workers in Spain and directly contracting almost 2,000 accommodation establishments including hotels and villas.
Steve Heapy placed special emphasis on the company's sustainability strategy, saying that the goal is to reach zero carbon emissions by 2050. A challenge for which, he said, the path has already begun with the purchase of 98 Airbus 320 /321 latest-generation NEO aircraft, which could be extended up to 146. Additionally the airline is reducing the use of plastic in all services provided to its customers, both on land and on board.
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