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14 Sep 2016

BY Jennifer Morris

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TRFBLI

Agents react to Jet2 Stansted move

Local agents close to Stansted have tentatively welcomed news that Jet2.com will be opening a base at the Essex airport.

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Local Essex agents tentatively welcome Jet2.com's new base opening at Stansted airport

However, they warned the operator to ensure price parity in order to keep their support.

It comes after the airline and its package holiday brand Jet2holidays announced last week they were to make their first foray into the south-east next year, when the airline opens a base at Stansted airport.

Stansted will be the airline’s ninth base when flights begin in the spring.

Jet2.com’s parent company, the Dart Group, believes there is room to grow the airline and its tour operator at Stansted, as the traditional package holiday sector is relatively under-served there.

The airport is overwhelmingly the domain of budget airlines, particularly Ryanair, with Thomas Cook and Thomson Airways basing just two short-haul aircraft each at the airport.

Sarah McLennan, sales manager at Islington-based Real Holidays, said it would be a helpful move for those in the south-east that tend to dynamically package breaks.

“We mainly use Jet2 for flight-only, as we package them up with our own Atol,” she said.

“They’ve been very useful to us for customers flying from Manchester or Leeds, so if they’re expanding down here that would be useful.”

Yvonne Holmes, manager at Loughton-based Classic Travel, was cautious in welcoming the news.

“I hope it will be a good thing for us – but I just hope they do price parity between us and the tour operator,” she said.

“If they do price parity we’ll support them. If they won’t, then we won’t sell them.”

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