A weak pound and deepening uncertainty over Brexit is likely to stymy Jet2’s forward bookings for the winter, executive chairman Philip Meeson has warned.
In a trading update issued on Thursday (5 September), boss of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays parent Dart Group Meeson said the group would remain “very cautious” in its outlook in the lead-up to its next interim results announcement on 21 November.
Meeson said while demand for the group’s flight-only and package holiday offering had strengthened, forward bookings for winter were yet to match seat capacity growth.
“Pricing for both our leisure travel products will need to remain continually enticing,” Meeson admitted ahead of the group’s annual general meeting on Thursday.
Meeson’s caution is consistent with his outlook from July where he highlighted a trend towards consumers booking later than they did last year on account of worsening confidence.
“In our leisure travel business, the later booking trend reported in our preliminary results statement on 11 July has continued, with overall demand for both our flight-only offering and package holiday product continuing to strengthen,” said Meeson.
“Encouragingly, package holiday customer numbers as a proportion of total departing customers have increased for summer 2019 to date.
“With still some way to go in the leisure travel winter booking cycle, the board remains optimistic current market expectations for group profit before foreign exchange revaluations and taxation for the year ending 31 March 2020 will be met.”
Looking further ahead, Meeson added: “Given the cost pressures the travel industry is facing in general, which will intensify given the weakness in sterling, plus the deepening Brexit uncertainty and the impact this may have on consumer confidence, we remain very cautious in our outlook.”