Heapy told delegates at the Jet2 VIP conference in Antalya (November 26-29) the company simply didn’t have the aircraft to make a long-haul programme viable at this time.
Jet2CityBreaks currently flies to New York from East Midlands, Glasgow, Leeds Bradford and Manchester airports using Boeing 757 aircraft.
And while Heapy said Jet2 did have Airbus A330 aircraft that could make the journey, these have been deployed on some of its busiest short-haul routes to increase capacity.
Asked whether Jet2 was planning a long-haul programme, Heapy said: “No, we don’t, not at present. I’m sorry about that because I know you guys would support us massively if we did go long-haul.”
Heapy said there were a couple of reasons Jet2 was ruling out long-haul “in the short-to-medium term”.
Firstly, its focus on its existing 70 destinations throughout Europe and into countries like Turkey where some other operators are reducing capacity.
“We do have some A330s,” said Heapy. “These are long-haul aircraft but we’re using them to take more people to our existing destinations. Some airports are very full and they cannot get any more flights off the runway. They are at maximum runway capacity so we are taking bigger aircrafts to try to get more people away.”
The second reason said Heapy was that Jet2 didn’t have the aircraft to operate long-haul routes. “We fly to New York with our 757s, they can get there,“ he said.
“But if we tried to fly long-haul with our existing aircraft, they would fall into the sea somewhere around Bermuda, which isn’t a fantastic customer experience. That’s not to say we won’t do it in the future, but it’s a long way.”