To mark the occasion, celebrations took place yesterday at the company’s first ever base, Leeds Bradford Airport, where exactly 15 years ago its first flight took off to Amsterdam.
The company started operating from Belfast in 2004 and has flown over 2.75 million customers to and from the airport since then. Today the airline flies to 36 sun, city and ski destinations from the Province.
Jet2.com customers and staff, including colleagues who worked at the airline on that very first day of operations and who were on the company’s first ever flight, were joined by Peter Andre for a morning of celebration.
The celebrity guest surprised customers at check-in and even boarded the aircraft to serenade customers and staff with a special ‘Happy Birthday’ rendition.
He also launched a competition called ‘15 Seconds of Fame’ to mark the 15th anniversary. By creating a video to capture the spirit of Jet2.com, one lucky customer can win 15 free return flights, and 15 runners up can win a pair of free flights.
Back in 2003, the first ever Jet2.com flight took off from Leeds Bradford Airport to Amsterdam. With two aircraft serving nine destinations from Leeds Bradford that first year, the company has since grown to become the UK’s third largest airline with a fleet of 88 aircraft flying to 65 sun, city and ski destinations from nine UK bases.
The popularity of its friendly low fares, great flight times and generous 22kg baggage allowance (plus 10kg hand baggage) has enabled the airline to enjoy this growth.
Since the first day of flying on February 12, 2003, the company has:
- Carried more than 65 million customers including over 2.75 million to and from Belfast International Airport
- Served over seven million cups of tea and two million KitKats!
- Launched from eight new bases, including the start of flights from Belfast International in 2004
- Won numerous awards for customer service, including Best Airline – UK and Best Low Cost Airline – Europe in the inaugural TripAdvisor Excellence Awards for Airlines.
- Increased its fleet size from six to 88 with 34 brand new Boeing 737-800 being delivered between September 2016 and January 2019.
At Belfast International Airport alone, Jet2.com has carried over 2.75 million customers and its ongoing success and growth means it will operate a fleet of four aircraft at the airport this summer to support a capacity increase of almost 50 per cent.
Steve Lee, Commercial Director of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, who was on the company’s first ever flight back in 2003 said: “Today marks 15 years of Jet2.com and is a great chance to look back on what has been achieved since we launched, not just at our first base but all of our bases including Belfast. The things that mattered to customers 15 years ago, such as VIP customer service, great flight times and value, are just as important today and that is what we have focused on resolutely for the past decade and a half.
“Our family friendly formula means we have expanded to become the third largest airline, whilst winning a string of accolades at the same time. As we look forward to the next 15 years and beyond, our commitment to those same values remains at the heart of everything we do.”
Last year, the company also celebrated 10 years of package holiday specialist Jet2holidays, which is today the UK’s second largest tour operator. Through Jet2holidays the company offers great value ATOL protected package holidays to over 40 top sun destinations, with thousands of two-five star hotels available and flights with Jet2.com.
As a result of this growth, Jet2.com and Jet2holidays has launched its biggest ever flights and holidays programme for summer 2018, and for the financial year ended March 31, 2017 this combined leisure travel business increased revenues by 24 per cent to £1,565.8m.