Flights: Thomas Cook landing spots taken over in Jet2 holiday boost

Jet2 has boosted its flight offering at Manchester, Birmingham and Stansted airports with the acquisition of the remaining landing slots from fallen travel agent Thomas Cook. Following the travel agents demise in September, airlines began to place bids for the now vacant landing slots. Now all of the slots have been taken over by Jet2 and rival budget airline easyJet.

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By taking over the landing slots at Manchester and Birmingham, Jet2.com has now taken over as the number one airline at both airports, boosting its offering for holidaymakers.

In a statement Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2 and Jet2 Holidays said:“The acquisition of these key UK airport slots will play an important role in supporting our continued growth at Birmingham, London Stansted and Manchester Airports.”

“We have been adding more flights and aircraft, resulting in increased capacity, at each of these bases for many years. Today’s announcement is the latest demonstration of our commitment to providing holidaymakers with more choice and flexibility when it comes to flying to sun, city and ski destinations with our award-winning airline.”

Meanwhile, the new slots have allowed it to steal the number two spot at Standsted from easyJet, only beaten by Ryanair.

The news followed a similar announcement by easyJet who are taking over all of Thomas Cook’s positions at Bristol and Gatwick airport.

easyJet remains the number one airline at both airports.

The spots at Gatwick will offer 12 additional summer plot pairs and eight winter slot pairs. At Bristol, the airline will enjoy six new summer plot pairs and one winter slot pair.

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A spokesperson for easyJet said: “easyJet has successfully acquired Thomas Cook’s slots at Gatwick Airport (12 summer slot pairs and 8 winter slot pairs) and Bristol Airport (6 summer slot pairs and one winter slot pair) for £36 million. Contractual terms have concluded and the slots have been awarded to easyJet.”

Both deals account for approximately 70 percent of Thomas Cook Airlines’ summer seat capacity.

easyJet and Jet2 beat fellow bidders IAG and Virgin Atlantic.

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Though little is known about the impact of the new acquisitions, it is likely both operators will now be able to provide more frequent flights.

Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays said: “The acquisition of these key UK airport slots will play an important role in supporting our continued growth at Birmingham, London Stansted and Manchester Airports.”

“We have been adding more flights and aircraft, resulting in increased capacity, at each of these bases for many years. Today’s announcement is the latest demonstration of our commitment to providing holidaymakers with more choice and flexibility when it comes to flying to sun, city and ski destinations with our award-winning airline.”

Meanwhile, easyJet has assured it will provide additional details during its full-year result announcement on 19 November.

The Thomas Cook brand name has also since been purchased by an investor.

Chinese investment firm Fosun has announced it will market its own holidays under the Thomas Cook brand name

It will also take over all Thomas Cook brand hotels, Casa Cook and Cook’s Club.

Qian Jiannong, chairman of Fosun tourism group, said: “The group has always believed in the brand value of Thomas Cook.

“The acquisition of the Thomas Cook brand will enable the group to expand its tourism business building on the extensive brand awareness of Thomas Cook and the robust growth momentum of Chinese outbound tourism.”

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