easyJet Holidays

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

The recent announcement by the boss of easyJet – Johan Lundgren – that there would be a new holiday division isn’t a great surprise to the travel world. After all it had been “packaging” flights and offered hotels, car hire and insurance so why not go the whole hog and become a fully-fledged tour operator?

The upgraded holiday division takes off

Over a year ago when Gary Wilson (an ex TUI man) was appointed the boss of the holiday division it was expected that there would be a greater emphasis on holidays.

The demise of Thomas Cook has left a big gap in the market and who better to fill a part of it than easyJet? With  more than 330 planes, flights to over 150 destinations and bases in a number of European countries, the airline seems an ideal candidate to expand fully into the holiday tour operator business.

One of the big advantages of Thomas Cook was that it flew from many regional airports. You didn’t have to trek to Stansted, Gatwick or even Manchester to fly to an overseas holiday destination.

easyJet has the same advantage.

It operates from twelve airports in England and Scotland as well as Belfast International in Northern Ireland but it has no presence in Wales or the Republic of Ireland. the other airline/tour operator which could also expand to fill the shoes of Thomas Cook is Jet 2. Already a tour operator, its brands operate from slightly fewer regional airports (only ten) and none south of the M4 corridor or in Wales therefore missing out a huge section of the population, much of which is available to easyJet.

What neither has is a place on the high street but is that such a disadvantage?

Instead easyJet flies over 88 million passengers a year, many of whom will be flying on holiday. It has contact points for those people and it would have no problem in sending promotions to them encouraging passengers to book a complete package with the airline.

But can easyJet move quickly enough to sign hotels, attractions and excursions so that it can capture a chunk of those who are looking for a Thomas Cook holiday replacement? Will its rivals be even more nimble-footed and grab the business first?

2020 is going to be abig year in the travel industry.    

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