As staffing issues, strikes, delays and cancellations continue to hinder the day-to-day operations of some of the UK’s leading tour operators and airlines, Jet2holidays could actually gain a competitive edge in Britain’s travel market.
The UK-based tour operator has not seen the same level of media scrutiny as the likes of TUI, easyJet Holidays, British Airways and Ryanair. As such, many customers could look to the Which? recommended brand as the industry gears up for the winter 2022/2023 season.
Jet2holidays has an opportunity to attract disappointed travelers
After a tumultuous 24 months for the travel industry, consumer expectations going into 2022 were high. According to a GlobalData poll from January 2022*, 38.2% of respondents said they intended to take an international trip to a different continent, and a further 28.8% said they were willing to travel internationally within their continent. These poll results highlight the improving sentiment towards global travel in 2022. This has put significant pressure on tour operators and airlines in the UK as many do not have the staffing capacity to meet this demand, with many employees laid off during the pandemic.
Many consumers believed that the effects of the pandemic had subsided and had not anticipated the operational struggles and logistical issues facing airlines as a result. Nevertheless, problems are wide-ranging for the UK airline industry and cover areas such as labor, operational overheads, fuel costs and even catering issues. This has resulted in a diminished customer experience, mainly through some of the UK’s busiest airports, where last-minute cancellations and long delays have now become commonplace. These have affected a myriad airlines and tour operators. Consequently, consumer confidence will be damaged significantly, especially for those who have experienced cancellations to their eagerly anticipated holidays at short notice.
However, during this time, Jet2holidays has managed to keep a relatively low profile, with passengers generally experiencing unavoidable airport delays and catering issues for the most part. Whilst disappointing, coverage of competitors’ problems has received far greater attention. As such, Jet2 could potentially gain a competitive edge over its rivals as a more reliable alternative. Its performance during the pandemic also supports this, receiving praise from top UK consumer watchdogs Money Saving Expert and Which? for the way it handled the COVID-19 crisis.
Challenges still lie ahead for Jet2holidays
The issues facing the UK airline industry will not be resolved overnight. The staffing issues experienced by airports and airlines will directly impact companies such as Jet2holidays, who have been able to manage demand more effectively. Therefore, some level of overcrowding at security and flight delays will be unavoidable. Subsequently, it will be impossible for Jet2holidays to satisfy all its customers. However, proactive, and timely information will be essential in managing consumer expectations. Learning from the experiences of their competitors will also be imperative to their success.
The demand for international travel remains high, but consumer confidence has taken a hit, which could be problematic for the UK travel industry’s recovery. However, in times of difficulty, there is often an opportunity for businesses to enhance their reputation and win new customers, and Jet2holidays is in a prime position to achieve this.