Jet2holidays’ decision to open a new base at Bristol Airport to serve the South West and South Wales has been described as “colossal” for the region.
Leading independent travel agent Miles Morgan, chairman of Miles Morgan Travel, who has 18 shops in the catchment area, said: “The fact that we’re not only getting the opportunity for people to use all of the different range of Jet2holidays product, but also some new destinations, is really, really exciting for the region. And not only for the southwest of England, but also South Wales as well.
“The bridge is now free, so you can pop from Wales to England and on to Bristol Airport free of charge now. So for the whole of the region, South Wales included, it’s really great news.”
Morgan said news of the launch of flights from Bristol to 33 destinations in April 2021, was “the cherry on top” of an already “positive news week”.
It came just days after pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and BioNTech announced a 90% success rate of a new Covid vaccine that could start to be rolled out by Christmas if granted a licence, plus indication of more progress on testing.
He said the combination of all three stories had given his colleagues a “major boost”.
“Morale is at an all-time high since March for everybody in my business,” said Morgan. “And to be honest, I’m sure that’s the case in most people’s businesses. It’s been a long dark tunnel over the summer and you can now see the shafts of light at the end.
“You can see how everything’s going to get going again and Jet2’s news use is almost the cherry on the top for us, in terms of something else to go out and talk about, something else to sell and another reason to be really optimistic.”
Morgan went on to say: “It’s been a tough, tough few months for everybody in the industry and to get some exciting news of expansion, well, it’s great news for customers, it’s great news for us and it’s great news all around for agents. There’s every reason to be cheerful, which is fantastic.”
Morgan anticipates strong demand for Jet2holidays’ packages and said he had pivoted his own business in the pandemic to target slightly different demographics from those he had focused on before the crisis.
“We’ve repositioned our market more in Jet2holidays’ area since March, because we recognised very early that our customers will be most affected by Covid, because they’re an older demographic of clients.
“So we’ve been targeting that [new] area pretty much for the whole of the summer. We’ve got localised Facebook pages, which we didn’t have before. So we’ve done an awful lot in that space to move us into Jet2holidays’ area.
“But the product offering from Jet2 isn’t just the family end….it’s got the villas, it’s also got the Indulgent Escapes luxury offering. So it’s a wide portfolio of product. And there will be a customer for almost every single Jet2 holiday.”
Morgan added: “When you you’ve got that to offer, alongside a big product offering from EasyJet and Tui out of Bristol, a customer needs a travel agent to pick their way through the offering that’s now available from our local airport and that’s even better news for us. It means the value of the travel agent is even greater.”
Revealing he’d had the Jet2holidays from Bristol message on his website and all over his social media channels within minutes of it being announced, Morgan concluded: “We’re on it, you’ve got to be on it. You know, there’s always sales opportunities, no matter what’s going on in the world.”
Jet2holidays head of trade Alan Cross said there was “definitely work to do with customers and agents in the area” to educate them about the Jet2holidays offering and USPs, which new dedicated sales rep Bryony Boulter would lead, but said many in the region were already familiar with the brand, having travelled to Birmingham in the past to depart on a Jet2 holiday.