DALLAS – Leeds-based Jet2 (LS) has announced a full-year operating profit of £394m (US$500m) and net profit of £291m (US$371m). Praising the resilience of the package holiday business, the results, it added, have far exceeded its pre-pandemic performance.
This was ‘despite a difficult return to normal operations, primarily due to the lack of planning and preparedness of many airports and associated suppliers.’
Passenger numbers soared, with the airline seeing average load factors of 90.5%, still slightly down on the pre-pandemic 92.2%. It carried 16.2 million passengers in the year ending March 31, 2023. Almost two-thirds of these were the higher-yielding package holiday customers.
For the forthcoming summer season, the airline is offering seat capacity 7.5% higher than in summer 2022, with 15.29 million seats. Jet2 also said that it had a “robust balance sheet” with £2.6 billion (US$3.3bn) in total cash reserves and £1.1bn (US$1.4bn) in ‘own cash.’ This, it added, is a positive signal of future growth, including the recent order for 98 Airbus A320neo family airliners and the opening of its eleventh UK base at Liverpool John Lennon Airport (LPL) in March 2024.
However, ongoing cost pressures, including fuel costs, carbon taxes, a strong US dollar, wage increases and employee benefits, have led the operator to remain cautious about providing numbers for the 2023/24 financial year.
Philip Meeson Steps Down
The airline also revealed that Executive Chairman Philip Meeson will step down from his role later this year. Mr Meeson was instrumental in developing Jet2 from a small freight carrier, Channel Express, into the UK’s leading leisure airline. He will remain on the board as non-executive chairman until his successor is found.
In a statement, Mr Meeson said, “I am extremely proud of the business I and colleagues have developed over the past 40 years and have huge respect for the newly enlarged board and the outstanding management team that over recent years has built up Jet2holidays to become the largest package holiday provider in the UK, together with Jet2.com, the UK’s third largest airline.
“Jet2holidays is a well trusted UK leisure travel brand with a great in-house airline. I therefore remain confident in the outlook for the group, but I am conscious of my age and the need to plan an orderly succession. I remain committed to Jet2 and will support my successor and the management in any way I can.”
Featured Image: Jet2 G-GDFD Boeing 737-800. Photo: Iain Marshall/Airways.