The new easyJet Holidays “will be far from a legacy tour operator” when it launches, the airline’s chief executive has pledged.
Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Johan Lundgren said the carrier would be relaunching its tour operation “later this year” and admitted many had told him it “seems like a pretty bad time to enter this difficult market”.
TTG understands the new concept will not be unveiled at this week’s Abta convention in Tokyo, where Lundgren is speaking.
Lundgren told the Telegraph there was life in the package holiday despite the collapse of Thomas Cook. “It is probably true to say the package holiday in its traditional sense of a fixed seven- or 14-day holiday booked through a high street travel agency, met by a rep with a clipboard, is on its way out.
“But the fact is, sales of holiday packages have grown faster than the economy every year for the past 10 years. It is the way that customers are taking holidays that is changing and the industry needs to change to accommodate this.”
He said the new venture would be data-driven using artificial intelligence. “EasyJet Holidays will be far from a legacy tour operator,” he said, adding: “But I do hope that when we launch, we can welcome into our team some great people from Thomas Cook and they can help us create what a modern holiday will look like in the future.”
Lundgren said value “has never been so important”. “Recent Abta research has shown that increasing numbers of holidaymakers look to a package for a good-value break – in 2018, 60% booked a package because it was the best value option for the price, up 3% on 2017.”