A 36% rise in the number of Jet2holidays package holidaymakers to 1.28 million across a strong summer season saw revenue top £1 billion for the first time.

Overall carryings increased by 12% to 5.07 million over the same period last year.

Parent company Dart Group today reported that leisure airline Jet2.com flew 2.51 million flight-only sectors in the half year to September 30 – down from 2.65 million.

However, the leisure travel operating profit rose by 15% to £165.2 million year-on-year as the group’s airline fleet grew to 64 aircraft.

Revenue was up by 22% to £1.1 billion from £951 million in summer 2015.

Airline ticket yields of £91.88 and average load factors of 93.2%  were “slightly lower” than summer 2015 against a backdrop of a 13% rise in seat capacity. Average package holiday prices rose by 1% to £630.81.

Dart Group’s pre-tax profit for the six months was up by 12% to £163.7 million.

Philip Meeson, chairman of the expanding travel and logistics group, said: “Whilst we recognise the likely upward pressures on market pricing following the weakening of sterling post-Brexit; for the long term, we have confidence in the resilience of our leisure travel business and are encouraged by the increasing proportion of customers taking our great value, real package holidays. 

“With winter 2016/17 leisure travel bookings continuing to perform in line with expectations, the board is currently optimistic that market expectations for the full year will be slightly exceeded.”

Jet2 is opening new bases at Birmingham and Stansted for summer 2017 offering a combined 36 routes and the addition of Costa de Almeria in Spain and Halkidiki in Greece as new destinations.

“We believe these bases have great potential for our holidays business and will both further strengthen our position in the Midlands and enable us to serve the populations of north and east London and the east of England,” the group said.