Jet2holidays bookings through agents have risen during the Covid crisis to around a third of the operator’s total business, and account for nearly 50% of bookings for winter 2021/22.
“The great thing is that the strength of the travel agent has not diminished throughout this whole pandemic,” Jet2holidays head of trade sales Alan Cross tells TTG on the eve of the airline and operator announcing its new Bristol base, and with his team preparing to court a further 300 independent agents in the Bristol airport catchment.
Jet2 believes the region, which comprises a swathe of the West Country and south Wales, within 45 minutes to an hour of Bristol, unlocks another seven million potential customers – and Cross wants agents to be ready to service them.
“Our share of business each week is 30-33% through the trade,” says Cross. “That’s stayed tremendously strong, and shows the potential. Customers want the reassurance and confidence of booking through an independent agent.
"So I’d say this is one of the best times [for agents] to get customers in, as and when they’re ready to book. We’ve seen agents take a kicking, as the whole industry has.
"But they’re hugely resilient. I’ve been in this industry 42 years – the ones that come out fighting, who have run their businesses as sound, secure, responsible concerns over the years, will get through this.”