Jet2 blasts ‘inexcusable’ airport disruption
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Jet2 criticised “inexcusable” airport chaos as the holiday firm warned that its current year performance will depend on how quickly services can return to normal.
The group said it has been “directly impacted” by the disruption as it laid bare the troubles caused by airports and suppliers being “woefully ill-prepared and poorly resourced”.
It said customers have had to endure a “very much poorer experience” than they should have, with passengers hit by flight delays, cancellations, long queues, baggage handling problems, and a lack of onboard catering supplies.
This difficult return to normal operations has occurred simply because of the lack of planning, preparedness and unwillingness to invest by many airports and associated suppliers
Jet2 said: “Group performance for the financial year ending March 31 2023 very much depends on how quickly the broader aviation sector returns to some level of stability, as well as strength of bookings for the remainder of summer and the second half of the financial year, a period for which we still have limited visibility.”
The comments came as it reported operating losses narrowed to £323.9 million for the year to March 31 against £336.1 million the previous year.
Statutory pre-tax losses widened to £388.8 million from £341.3 million.
The company said average prices of its package holidays rose 2% to £689, after hotels slashed costs the previous year, but said prices are likely to come under pressure this year as the cost-of-living crisis affects consumer spending.
Jet2 executive chairman Philip Meeson said: “Most of our 10 UK base airports have been woefully ill-prepared and poorly resourced for the volume of customers they could reasonably expect.”
He said this is “inexcusable, bearing in mind our flights have been on sale for many months and our load factors are quite normal”.
“This difficult return to normal operations has occurred simply because of the lack of planning, preparedness and unwillingness to invest by many airports and associated suppliers,” he added.
The firm said it has handed its staff an 8% pay increase, with a further £1,000 to be paid to all colleagues at the end of the summer season in recognition of their hard work in difficult times.