Jet2 jumps in to plug Thomas Cook gap at Manchester and Birmingham

Jet2 is ramping up capacity following the collapse of Thomas Cook by adding hundreds of thousands of seats for next summer from Manchester and Birmingham airports.

The additional flying means that the company will be offering over 3.3 million seats for summer 2020 from Manchester – an increase of 16% or 450,000 – and 160,000 more – a 23% rise – from Birmingham to reach more than two million.

Four aircraft are being added to the fleet at Manchester and Skiathos introduced as a new destination with two flights a week from early May until September.

Preveza in Greece, Zada in Croatia and Tivat in Montenegro have already been added as new routes from the north-west hub – the former base of Thomas Cook Airlines.

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The expansion follows new routes being added to destinations such as the Canaries, Turkey, Cyprus, Greece and the Balearics for this winter.

The expansion will see more flights to the Canary Islands, Balearics, mainland Spain, Turkey, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Greece, with 50 destinations served from Manchester.

The Birmingham network rises to 47 with the introduction of Skiathos and Barcelona in addition to previously announced new routes to Preveza, Budapest, Kefalonia, Murcia and Nice.

Three extra aircraft will be deployed from Birmingham to support the growth.
Jet2 is adding 120,000 seats to four destinations in the Canaries across both bases to take the total to over 600,000.

Turkey – a former Thomas Cook stronghold – gains 180,000 seats to take the number to more than 600,000 from the two airports. and Jet2holidays CEO Steve Heapy said there has been “unprecedented demand” for flights and Atol protected package holidays from both airports “and this major expansion underlines our commitment to giving local holidaymakers the very best choice”.

The addition of four extra aircraft at Manchester and three at Birmingham represents “significant investment”.

The capacity hike follows rival Tui adding two million seats from five UK airports for summer 2020.  

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