One Year On: Sunnier Skies Ahead
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This week marks exactly one year since the UK government issued a statement advising against all non-essential travel overseas, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
It is no exaggeration to say that the pandemic represents the biggest crisis that the travel industry has ever faced. We all remember that feeling of being on holiday, and at Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, our purpose is to provide those holidays, so that our customers can experience that feeling of joy. For the best part of the last 12 months, we have been unable to do so.
Despite the events of the past year, some things have not changed. Since the first reports of Covid-19, every decision we have taken during this unprecedented period has been taken with our usual guiding principal in mind – putting our customers first.
Our industry has been under the spotlight like never before, but our approach has resulted in praise from customers, consumer organisations, media and independent travel agents for our industry-leading and prompt refunding of over £1bn to customers whose travel plans have been affected by programme changes during the pandemic.
Jet2.com and Jet2holidays are ranked as the top two travel firms for providing refunds, according to a travel refund cancellation survey by MoneySavingExpert.com (MSE), and Jet2.com was recognised by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) as the only UK airline to promptly provide refunds.
Every single colleague at Jet2.com and Jet2holidays has played a part in this and we are very proud of our teams for this industry-leading response.
After all the gloom of the past 12 months, there are sunnier skies ahead of us today. The UK is the most advanced country in Europe when it comes to successfully rolling out a vaccine, and our destinations are very keen to welcome British holidaymakers back this summer. Ministers in destinations such as Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, Portugal and Spain have shown how much they want to reopen to holidaymakers this summer, and this is great news for our customers.
On top of that, the UK government has shown a clear ambition to reopen international travel in the coming months. We will assist the government in any way that we can to help achieve this, with safety as our number one priority. We, like everyone, look forward to more detail on April 12th when further detail is published.
On the back of these positive developments, we have seen customer confidence returning strongly over the past several weeks. Our regular polling of thousands of customers shows that confidence has risen across all age groups. The number of customers booking flights and package holidays tells us that many people want nothing more than to get away this summer.
The demand is there, and as ever we have been quick to respond to that, adding flights and holidays where necessary, to make sure we can take customers from our rainy islands to their favourite holiday choices to have the summer they deserve.
When this happens, we will be using our industry-leading customer service to make sure that our customers have a happy and healthy holiday. Through ‘Your Safety, Our Priority’, our customers can be assured that they are in safe hands when they go on holiday with us: https://www.jet2holidays.com/safe-travel
The past year has been extraordinarily difficult for everyone. We know that the feeling of being on holiday – whether that is snoozing in the luscious sunshine, reading a book by the pool, running headlong into an azure sea, or simply enjoying time away from it all with loved ones – is something that people are longing for more than ever.
The time when we can take customers away to enjoy these experiences once again is getting closer and closer. Although it has been a year since the first restrictions on international travel were introduced, we know that this means those well-deserved holidays will feel even more special when they return.
In the meantime, we would like to thank our customers, colleagues and independent travel agent partners for their support and understanding, as we have tackled the extraordinary challenges of the past year together.