The Civil Aviation Authority has approved an increase in Jet2holidays’ current Atol licence from 3.8 million to 4.656 million.
The operator’s chief executive Steve Heapy explained the licence had been increased through a variation notice “because our sales were much better than we thought”.
He described the increase of 865,000 seats in the current climate as “staggering in a good way”, but pointed out that the operator had not cancelled a single flight due to staff shortages, and has won a raft of new awards in recent weeks, including Which? Travel Brand of the Year and Best Short Haul Operator at the News UK Travel Awards.
Heapy said the move by the CAA showed how much faith it had in Jet2holidays, the UK’s number-two Atol-holder.
“At a time when the government is putting increased focus on financial stability and the operational capability of companies, this shows how confident the CAA is in our ongoing operations,” he said.
Heapy said his new licence now put it almost 467,000 seats behind leading Atol-holder Tui UK.
Tui UK currently holds a licence to carry more than 5.1 million passengers, leaving it almost 467,000 ahead of Jet2holidays for direct sales.
However, Tui is also licensed for more than 86,000 Atol to Atol sales through third party travel companies, giving it an overall lead of just over 553,000.