The COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt the travel industry throughout the first half of 2021, with our aircraft still grounded for much of it.
Despite the challenges, we stay true to our customer-first approach. At the start of the year, Jet2.com and Jet2holidays continue to receive the prestigious Which? Recommended Provider status. The consumer champion also names Jet2.com the top scoring UK airline in a new airline refund satisfaction survey. Plus, Jet2holidays wins the coveted Feefo Platinum Trusted Service Award for the second year running.
On 25 March, Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2 plc, is appointed as a Director of ABTA’s Board.
We also continue to expand our product portfolio by adding Athens, Sardinia and Sicily to our superb, sun-soaked line-up.
In May, we’re praised by Which? once again, who name us the best package holiday company, as well as best city break and villas provider.
We’re delighted to finally welcome our customers back onboard when we restart flying on 24 June. The following week, we mark another major milestone as our inaugural flight takes off from our 10th UK base, Bristol Airport.
And July sees us recognised once again as industry-leading for delivering exceptional customer service, according to the UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI). Jet2holidays comes in joint 9th out of more than 250 major brands and organisations. That means we’re the top company in the ‘tourism’ category and the only tour operator to appear in the top 50 companies for customer service. Jet2.com is ranked joint 44th, making us the top ‘transport’ company, as well as the only airline to make it into the top 50. As well as leading the industry, we continue to improve customer satisfaction despite the ongoing disruption caused by travel restrictions. Since 2020, Jet2holidays’ score has improved by 3.3 and Jet2.com has improved by 0.8.
In early 2020, Jet2.com and Jet2holidays faced the biggest, most unprecedented scenario in its history. The rapid global spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) forced border closures and lockdowns that brought the world to a standstill. Despite cancelling flights and holidays, we’ve been recognised as the best UK airline and tour operator for how we’ve treated our valued customers. Furthermore, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) acknowledged Jet2.com as the only UK airline to process and promptly provide Covid-19 refunds without significant backlogs! Our Work As One Team ethos saw colleagues from around the business fielding thousands of enquiries across our Contact Centre and social media platforms, to communicate with, reassure and even repatriate customers. Following the sale of Fowler Welch, our Distribution and Logistics business, Dart Group plc now trades as Jet2 plc. This will sharpen the company's longer-term strategy of growing its leisure travel business. Speaking of growth, we’re also delighted to launch our tenth UK base – Bristol Airport! This addition means we now run flights to and from South West England, which extends our reach nationally.
At the start of the year, we’re delighted to scoop four accolades at the Travel Weekly Globe Travel Awards. Jet2holidays wins 'Best Short Haul Operator' for the third year running, as well as 'Best Trade Sales Team'. Jet2.com was voted 'Best Short Haul Airline' for the sixth time in eight years, and the Jet2.com & Jet2holidays CEO, Steve Heapy, wins the prestigious 'Outstanding Achievement Award'. We also mark a major milestone when we take delivery of the last of 34 brand new Next Generation 737-800 aircraft from Boeing - taking the number of aircraft in our fleet to 100!
Jet2holidays wins Best Short Haul Operator for the second year running at the Globe Travel Awards. We also win Best Trade Friendly Brand, and are voted by customers as Favourite Short Haul Operator. Jet2.com scoops Best Short Haul Airline for the fifth time in seven years. The airline has more to celebrate on 12 February, as it marks 15 years of flying. Over 60 million customers have enjoyed our friendly low fares since our first flight back in 2003. Our industry recognition continues as Jet2.com wins Best Airline – UK and Best Low-Cost Airline – Europe for the second year running at the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards, and also wins Best Economy Class – Europe. Our reviews on TripAdvisor make us 7th in the Top 10 Airlines of the World too. Meanwhile, Jet2.com & Jet2holidays are awarded Travel Brand of the Year 2018 at the Which? Awards.
We’re delighted to announce the momentous news that Jet2holidays is now the UK’s second biggest tour operator. The latest ATOL data published by the Civil Aviation Authority shows that in the 12 months to September 2018, we are licensed to carry 2.94 million passengers. That’s a huge increase of 660,000 passengers compared to the previous 12 months! It’s always the aim of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays to treat every customer as a VIP. That’s why we’re all smiles when Jet2holidays gets a customer satisfaction score of 84.8% in the UKCSI benchmark, placing 4th out of 250 companies and the highest ranked tour operator. Jet2.com is the highest ranked airline too, with a customer satisfaction score of 82.4%.
At Jet2holidays, we notch up 1.2 million customers in a single financial year and we now employ over 5,000 colleagues across the UK and overseas. There’s also big news for Jet2.com, as we’re delighted to launch the sale of flights from our 8th and 9th bases, Birmingham and London Stansted, we open our new 6,000 square metre Manchester Hangar and, on 15 September 2016, our first brand new Boeing 737-800 aircraft comes home. Jet2.com is proud to be ranked the UK’s top airline on TripAdvisor and the UK’s Most Loved Airline on Skytrax.
We welcome more than a million happy customers on a Jet2holiday in the financial year 2014-2015. Jet2holidays also becomes the only European holiday operator to offer an innovative new baggage service, Resort Flight Check-in. Jet2.com launches the Onboard Together programme to stamp out anti-social behaviour onboard. Plus, we’re ready to expand again, acquiring 30 new Next Generation 737-800s from Boeing between 2016 and 2018.
Jet2.com makes a swift return to winning ways by scooping the ‘Best Short Haul Airline’ for the third year in a row at the Globe Travel Awards 2014. We see the launch of our spectacular £9.5 million state-of-the-art Training Centre in Yorkshire, complete with three flight simulators. we roll out our new mobile responsive Jet2holidays website.
Steve Heapy is promoted to Chief Executive Officer of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, Gary Brown joins us as Executive Director and Group Chief Financial Officer, and Philip Meeson becomes the Group’s Executive Chairman. Jet2.com scoops 'Best Short Haul Airline' at the Globe Travel Awards for the second year running, a great way to celebrate our 10th birthday. Many of our colleagues make the move to the new 6,500 square metre offices at The Mint in Leeds, as we employ more than 1,500 staff in Yorkshire.
Jet2.com has a winning start to the year by scooping ‘Best Short Haul Airline’ at the Travel Weekly Globe Travel Awards, beating bmi, British Airways, easyJet, Iberia and Lufthansa. Jet2holidays celebrates five years since its launch, with passenger numbers increasing by a whopping 500%. We also launch ‘Take Me There’, a training programme to ensure Jet2.com and Jet2holidays colleagues have the know-how to create an even better experience for our customers.
Jet2.com can really say it has made it in Newcastle! The Tyne is all ours as we achieve our ambitious plans of being the North East’s biggest leisure carrier. Jet2holidays expands its hotel portfolio even further in 2011, releasing two bumper brochures within the year and launching an entirely new range; Indulgent Escapes, which offers a bold new approach to luxury holidays. Fowler Welch-Coolchain enjoys a year of expansion, opening new satellite depots at Alconbury and Newton Abbot.
Fowler Welch-Coolchain expands its business even further, purchasing a 500,000 sq. ft ambient distribution centre at Heywood, Greater Manchester. Meanwhile, Jet2.com welcomes its 20 millionth customer onboard. We also take ‘pride’ in safely flying 13 lions from a Romanian zoo to a new 10-acre enclosure in Yorkshire Wildlife Park. Later, Jet2.com launches at Glasgow Airport.
Fowler Welch-Coolchain launches a new website that offers improved navigation, with interesting new content and captivating images. Jet2.com launches East Midlands from May 2010 and Jet2holidays launches its first holiday brochure - a real thing of beauty. Steve Heapy joins from MyTravel as Jet2holidays’ Chief Commercial Operating Officer. His expertise proves to be vital, as Jet2holidays goes on to grow under his guidance.
Jet2.com announces it flew more than 4 million passengers in a single year. It’s a great way to mark the airline’s fifth anniversary, in a year that also sees us introduce the myJet2 loyalty scheme. Fowler Welch-Coolchain makes several sprightly upgrades to its operations, including the complete redesign of its Paddock Wood warehouse facility. Dart Group plc wins the 'Enterprise IT Solution of the Year' at the Channel Network Awards, beating Selfridges and Coca Cola in the process.
Dart Group plc adds a third string to its bow, with the launch of Jet2holidays, offering customers and travel agents “Package holidays you can trust.” It’s good news for Fowler Welch-Coolchain too, as the Federation of Canary Islands Growers (FedEx) renews its five year contract with the company.
Channel Express (Air Services) Limited changes its name to the catchier Jet2.com Limited - over five million passengers have now flown with the airline. To meet this extra demand, we buy ourselves six more Boeing 757-200 aircraft. Fowler Welch-Coolchain buys local competitor R.F. Fielding Cheshire Ltd and Dart Group plc splits its shares by 4 for 1, so there are now 134 million ordinary shares in issue.
With 1.3 million passengers flown in the 2004/2005 financial year, Jet2.com spreads its wings to Newcastle, Blackpool and Edinburgh, adding up to six UK bases in total. Jet2.com also buys its first Boeing 757-200 aircraft with a capacity of 232 passengers. Dart Group plc shares are transferred from Official List to AIM on the London Stock Market and we sell Benair for £5.1m.
Jet2.com flies its 500,000th passenger in March 2004, then welcomes its one millionth passenger in September 2004. Already aiming to expand, we’re on course to begin flights from both Belfast and Manchester airports. Our air deliveries are still going strong, as Channel Express secures a long-term contract to be the leading aircraft provider of the Royal Mail.
Jet2.com operates its first flight from Leeds Bradford to Amsterdam on 12th February 2003. Following the success of its first route, Jet2.com expands to operate routes to Alicante, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Malaga, Milan Bergamo, Nice and Palma. We purchase a further eight Boeing 737-300s too. Fowler Welch and Coolchain combine forces to form Fowler Welch-Coolchain.
Jet2.com, the leading low cost leisure airline, is launched! After the success of our chartered service, we announce that the first Jet2.com flight will take off in February 2003. Dart Group plc purchases a further eight Boeing 737-300QCs. We also purchase a fourth Airbus A300-B4 for cargo. Jet2.com opens for business on 11th December 2002. It sells 12,000 seats online within the first 24 hours!
Dart Group plc purchases two Boeing 737-300QC ‘Quick Change’ aircraft in May 2001. This new aircraft would go on to inspire the launch of Jet2.com as its ‘Quick Change’ (QC) system can transform from a 148-passenger to a 16 tonne payload freighter aircraft in 30 minutes. We also add new ACAS avionics to our Fokker F27 aircraft and introduce a tracking IT system for Fowler Welch.
Dart Group plc darts upwards in size as it now has 1,500 colleagues across its companies. We’re a major player for freight, distribution and delivery. Coolchain welcomes the new millennium by reaching a three-year agreement with the Canary Island’s Federation of Produce Growers. It also buys A. Wood & Son (Detling), a former local competitor.
Dart Group plc purchases Coolchain to deliver even more fresh produce, packaging and warehousing. We also open a new consolidation centre in Portsmouth. We form Fowler Welch BV as a Netherlands company and Channel Express Parts Trading to supply aircraft parts to other airlines. A further 1.6 million shares are placed for Dart Group plc. This brings the total in issue to 34 million.
Channel Express is called upon by the major delivery providers UPS and DHL. We’re also awarded Type Rating Training Organisation (TRTO) approval by the CAA and Joint Airworthiness Requirements (JAR 145) .
The Eurofreighter carries out daily 45 tonne deliveries from Sweden to Luxembourg on behalf of Panalpina. It's also used for a weekly Stansted to Tel Aviv service for British Airways World Cargo. Fowler Welch expands its Spalding warehouse and we split our shares two for one, meaning there are now more than 32 million ordinary shares in issue.
Dart Group plc purchases the Airbus A300-B4, a 257 passenger aircraft that was the world's first twin-engine widebody jet airliner. We convert ours into freighters with a mighty moniker the Eurofreighter. Fowler Welch also adds a new warehouse at its Spalding headquarters, as well as a lovely new logo and livery.
Channel Express (Air Services) completes a six month contract for the Italian Post Office. The contract is a total success; with our aircraft making swift deliveries between Genoa, Sardinia, Sicily and Rome.
Dart Group plc acquires Fowler Welch Ltd, a temperature-controlled distribution company. It becomes a major asset, making important deliveries to top supermarkets every day. We also gain BS5750 Quality Assurance accreditation, which proves our systems are working to serve customers, shareholders and stakeholders.
Channel Express is the first to win the containerised night mail contract for the Royal Mail. We put our new Electra aircraft into action for this time-sensitive operation between London Stansted and Edinburgh.
Channel Express Group plc gets a great new name Dart Group plc The name honours the Rolls-Royce Dart engines that are so invaluable to the Group's forays into the air. Dart Group plc moves to the Official List of the London Stock Exchange. The company’s shareholders take up a further 2.75 million ordinary shares to raise funds for expansion, with 15.25 million ordinary shares now in issue.
Channel Express issues a further one million shares to buy Benair Freight Ltd, an international freight management company. It gives Channel Express an international presence with multinational bases. We also use the Fokker F27 for our new operation for Fedex between Birmingham and Brussels.
Channel Express (Air Services) purchases the first of five Lockheed L-188 Electra freighter aircraft. Capable of carrying a 15 tonne payload, it can be loaded in 25 minutes and flies at 330 knots. We set off for pastures new, flying to key European routes for UPS, TNT and DHL.
Channel Express Group Ltd floats on the UK Unlisted Securities Market (USM) to raise capital for our ambitious expansion plans. Immediately after it floats, almost 11.2 million ordinary shares are in issue. We also secure more Royal Mail and UPS contracts, increasing our workforce to 200 colleagues.
Channel Express delivers for express parcel carriers, the Guernsey Post Office, Royal Mail and newspaper publishers. It's 'super' news all round, as we expand our 'Super' Dart Herald aircraft fleet too. The Group also expands its consolidation centres in both the Channel Islands and the UK.
Channel Express creates 'Super' Dart Herald aircraft with improved instruments and avionics capable of delivering a payload of nearly 6 tonnes each.
Channel Express secures overnight parcel contracts with TNT. We acquire our third Handley Page Dart Herald to carry time-sensitive airfreight between Birmingham, Nuremburg and Hanover.
Channel Express invests in cooling equipment, cold stores and temperature-controlled vehicles. This helps to make our flowers even fresher.
Philip Meeson, an expert pilot who trained in the Royal Air Force and a five-time British Aerobatics Champion, purchases the 'Express' companies. We get a great new name too - “Channel Express”.
Express Air Services secures its first contract with the Royal Mail, for the speedy delivery of first class mail between Bournemouth, Bristol and Liverpool Airports.
Art Carpenter forms Express Air Services to take over the cargo aircraft operation from Express Air Freight.
Express Air Freight buys its first Handley Page Dart Herald, the inspiration for our later name “Dart Group plc.” The aircraft 'darts' into action between Bournemouth and the Channel Islands!
Art Carpenter joins forces with Guernsey exporters to create Express Air Freight. The famous Douglas DC3 helped to fly produce, flowers and freight between the Channel Islands and the UK.
Art Carpenter sets up Carpenter's Air Services and Carpenter's Transport Ltd to fly fragrant flowers from Guernsey (famous for the Battle of the Flowers) to the UK, and onwards to wholesale markets.