Jet2.com has welcomed the first of its aircraft to East Midlands airport as it prepares to fly to destinations selected to separate its routes from those of rival airlines.


Passenger sales director Phil Ward said the airline would launch its first programme from the airport on May 19 with flights to Lanzarote, Corfu, Dalaman, Heraklion, Paphos, Tenerife and Sharm el Sheikh.


“EasyJet, Ryanair and Bmibaby are all selling the standard routes to Greece and Spain. We’re offering something different to the regional market,” he said.


“The main focus is to have a good first summer, carry a lot of passengers and get them where they want to go while being reliable and flying on time.”


Ward said the airline would service the routes using Boeing 757s, which he added offered  greater comfort and range.


And he claimed the decision to launch routes from East Midlands airport was a natural extension of operations from Jet2’s heartlands in the north.


Ward said: “We see the region as having huge growth potential for our leisure business and the exceptional transport links to the airport allows us to extend Jet2.com’s catchment area further into Derby, Leicester, Nottingham, Sheffield and surrounding areas.”


East Midlands airport commercial director Stephen Turner said: “The addition of Jet2.com to East Midlands airport is a positive indicator for the future and puts us in a strong position as we continue to extend and develop our route network.”


Agents can win £500 to spend on their ultimate day off thanks to Jet2 to celebrate the arrival of its aircraft at East Midlands airport.


The prize will go to whichever agent sells the most Jet2 flights and Jet2holidays package breaks between now (March10) and May 30.


To win, agents need to send their full names, travel agency names and booking references to mybestday@jet2.com for all bookings made to the airline’s seven destinations from the airport by the end of May.


From left are managing director at Jet2.com managing director Ian Doubtfire, East Midlands airport commercial sales director Stephen Turner and Jet2 passenger sales director Phil Ward.