Join Jet2.com & Jet2holidays and you'll become part of the Dart Group PLC, with a success story that stretches back over 40 years.
Since its first flight to Amsterdam from Leeds Bradford Airport in February 2003, Jet2.com has grown at a rapid but reliable pace. It now boasts a fleet of over 75 aircraft, operating more than 220 routes. More than 50 million customers have flown with its Friendly low fares. It has bases for leisure flights currently at Leeds Bradford, Manchester, Glasgow, Newcastle, Edinburgh, East Midlands, Birmingham, London Stansted, Belfast as well as overseas bases in Alicante and Palma.
Jet2holidays offer over 2,900 2-5 star hotels at more than 50 sun and city destinations. Since its launch in 2007, the business's profile as a package holiday operator has gone from strength to strength. It is now the UK's second-largest tour operator, welcoming more than 1.8m customers on a Jet2holiday in the most recent half year. The enduring success lies in giving customers great choice, great value, and ultimately great service.
It has been an incredibly exciting time for Jet2.com & Jet2holidays. In July and September 2016, the business announced Birmingham and London Stansted airports as its 8th and 9th UK operating bases. In September 2016, the business took delivery of the first of 34 brand new Boeing 737-800 NG Aircraft, and since that time, 21 more have been delivered. By January 2019, all of the new aircraft will be in operation, enabling the business to meet increasing customer demand for its award-winning service, Friendly low fares,and great value Real Package Holidays.
In June 2017, Jet2Villas was launched, meaning that customers can now embark on a great value villa holiday wrapped up in one package, with Jet2.com flights, accommodation and car hire all included.
Jet2CityBreaks also continues to be a popular choice amongst customers with options for shorter breaks in over 30 fantastic cities.
The core principles of the business are to be family friendly, offer value for money and give great service, so each of its customers "has a lovely holiday". Every day, it is apparent that the family-friendly formula delivers success. Jet2.com scooped Best Airline - UK and Best Low-Cost Airline - Europe at the TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice Awards, and it is the only UK airline with Which? Recommended Provider status.
The same level of commitment and enthusiasm is applied to colleagues within the business. It's very important that the business leads the way for both safety and service. In 2014, the £9.5 million purpose built training centre was opened. This fantastic facility now houses four full flight Simulators - the B757-200, B737-300 and two B737-800s. The simulators provide unrivalled quality training for pilots, while the Cabin Safety and Emergency Procedure Centre offers the perfect learning environment for Cabin Crew too. More recently, we have added Engineering Training facilities to the Centre, for high quality and relevant training for engineering colleagues.
A devoted team of more than 7,000 colleagues across the UK and overseas work during the summer, including 2,000 colleagues in Yorkshire alone, supporting the ever-growing demand for Jet2.com & Jet2holidays.
Such a flying success has been nurtured for over 40 years. Read on and you'll discover how The Dart Group PLC has evolved with many interesting tales along the way...
2017 Jet2holidays becomes the UK's second biggest tour operator
January sees the start of the summer booking rush with Jet2holidays' biggest ever choice of destinations, now from nine UK bases.
It's a time to celebrate for Jet2.com too, as it's named as one of the most punctual airlines in the world according to the travel intelligence company, OAG. Jet2.com is also named 'Best Short Haul Airline' at the Globe Travel Awards 2016, held in January 2017.
It's always the aim of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays to treat every customer as a VIP. That's why we're all smiles when Jet2holidays gets a customer satisfaction score of 84.8% in the UKCSI benchmark, placing 4th out of 250 companies and the highest ranked tour operator. Jet2.com is the highest ranked airline too, with a customer satisfaction score of 82.4%. It's partly thanks to our inspired recruitment drive of growing our UK-based call centre, doubling the number of our overseas reps to 500, and investing in our website.
Plus, due to the incredible demand, we expand our free, safe and secure service, Resort Flight Check-In to even more hotels and destinations.
Later in the year, we're delighted to announce the momentous news that Jet2holidays is now the UK's second biggest tour operator. The latest ATOL data published by the Civil Aviation Authority shows that in the 12 months to September 2018, we are licensed to carry 2.94 million passengers. That's a huge 660,000 more passengers than the previous 12 months!
2016 Jet2holidays expands again
The great growth story continues at Jet2holidays, as we now notch up 1.2 million customers in a single financial year. This stacks up with our other impressive figures, as we now employ over 5,000 colleagues across the UK and overseas. Our airline is also recognised for its great legacy with the Business Achievement Award at the Travel and Hospitality Hall of Fame.
We're delighted to bring Jet2.com's friendly low fares and Jet2holidays' great value package holidays to even more customers with the launch of our 8th base, Birmingham, and our 9th base, London Stansted. Jet2.com is also proud to be ranked the UK's top airline on TripAdvisor and the UK's Most Loved Airline on Skytrax.
The 15th September 2016 is a monumental day for us - it's when our first brand new Boeing 737-800 aircraft comes home. Landing at Leeds Bradford, our shiny new aircraft has interior innovations such as sculpted sidewalls, more open space and extra legroom. It's the first of 30 new Boeing 737-800 aircraft due to be delivered from 2016-2018.
2015 Jet2holidays is one in a million!
We welcome more than a million happy customers on a Jet2holiday in the financial year 2014-2015. Jet2holidays also becomes the only European holiday operator to offer an innovative new baggage service, Resort Flight Check-in. Jet2.com launches Onboard Together programme to stamp out anti-social behaviour onboard. Plus, we're ready to expand again, acquiring 30 new Next Generation 737-800s from Boeing between 2016 and 2018.
2014 Jet2.com makes three the magic number with another Globe Award
Jet2.com makes a swift return to its winning ways by scooping the 'Best Short Haul Airline' for the third year in a row at the Globe Travel Awards 2014. We see the launch of our spectacular £9.5 million state-of-the-art Training Centre in Yorkshire, complete with three flight simulators. We roll out our new mobile responsive Jet2holidays website.
2013 Jet2.com celebrates ten years of taking to the skies!
Steve Heapy is promoted to Chief Executive Officer of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays and Philip Meeson becomes the Group's Executive Chairman. Jet2.com scoops 'Best Short Haul Airline' at the Globe Travel Awards for the second year running, a great way to celebrate our 10th birthday. Many of our colleagues make the move to the new 71,000 sq. ft offices at The Mint in Leeds, as we employ more than 1,500 staff in Yorkshire.
There are more bright new beginnings this year too, as Gary Brown joins us as Executive Director and Group Chief Financial Officer. Gary brings all his expertise as a Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales. Our finances are certainly in safe hands, as Gary was on the ball in his previous position as Global CFO of Umbro PLC.
2012 Jet2.com is on top of the world
Jet2.com has a winning start to the year by being crowned 'Best Short Haul Airline' at the Travel Weekly Globe Travel Awards, beating bmi, British Airways, easyJet, Iberia and Lufthansa. Jet2holidays celebrates five years since its launch, with passenger numbers increasing by a whopping 500 percent. We also launch 'Take Me There', a training programme to ensure Jet2.com and Jet2holidays colleagues has the know-how to create an even better experience for our customers.
2011 Jet2.com makes the big time in the North East!
Jet2.com can really say it has made it in Newcastle! The Tyne is all ours as we achieve our ambitious plans of being the North East's biggest leisure carrier. Jet2holidays expands its hotel portfolio even further in 2011, releasing two bumper brochures within the year, and launching an entirely new range. Indulgent Escapes offers a bold new approach to luxury holidays. Fowler Welch-Coolchain enjoys a year of expansion, opening new satellite depots at Alconbury and Newton Abbot.
2010 Jet2.com welcomes 20 million customers onboard
Fowler Welch-Coolchain expands its business even further, purchasing a 500,000 sq. ft ambient distribution centre at Heywood, Greater Manchester. Meanwhile Jet2.com welcomes its 20 millionth customer onboard. We also take 'pride' in safely flying 13 lions from a Romanian zoo to a new 10 acre enclosure in Yorkshire Wildlife Park. Later, Jet2.com launches at Glasgow Airport.
2009 Steve Heapy joins to drive the growth of Jet2holidays
Fowler Welch-Coolchain launches a new website that offers improved navigation, with interesting new content and captivating images. Jet2.com launches East Midlands from May 2010 and Jet2holidays launches its first holiday brochure - a real thing of beauty. Steve Heapy joins from MyTravel as Jet2holidays' Chief Commercial Operating Officer. His expertise proves to be vital, as Jet2holidays goes on to grow under his guidance.
2008 Dart Group PLC more than manages its systems
Jet2.com announces it flew more than 4 million passengers in a single year. It's a great way to mark the airline's fifth anniversary, in a year that also sees us introduce the myJet2 loyalty scheme. Fowler Welch-Coolchain makes several sprightly upgrades to its operations, including the complete redesign of its Paddock Wood warehouse facility. Dart Group PLC wins the 'Enterprise IT Solution of the Year' at the Channel Network Awards, beating the likes of Selfridges and Coca Cola in the process.
2007 Jet2.com makes a break with Jet2holidays
Dart Group PLC adds a third string to its bow, with the launch of Jet2holidays, offering customers and travel agents " Package holidays you can trust ". It's good news for Fowler Welch-Coolchain too, as the Federation of Canary Islands Growers (FedEx) renews its five year contract with the company.
2006 Jet2.com has a share of success
Channel Express (Air Services) Limited changes its name to the catchier Jet2.com Limited - over 5 million passengers have now flown with the airline. To meet this extra demand, we buy ourselves six more Boeing 757-200 aircraft. Fowler Welch-Coolchain buys local competitor R.F. Fielding Cheshire Ltd and Dart Group PLC splits its shares by 4 for 1, so there are now more than 134 million ordinary shares in issue.
2005 Jet2.com spreads its wings with new aircraft and bases
With 1.3 million passengers flown in the 2004/2005 financial year, Jet2.com spreads its wings to Newcastle, Blackpool and Edinburgh, adding up to six UK bases in total. Jet2.com also buys its first Boeing 757-200 aircraft with a capacity of 232 passengers. Dart Group PLC shares are transferred from Official List to AIM on the London Stock Market and we sell Benair for £5.1m.
2004 Jet2.com is one in a million
Jet2.com flies its 500,000th passenger in March 2004, and then welcomes its one millionth passenger in September 2004. Already aiming to expand, we're on course to begin flights from both Belfast and Manchester airports. Our air deliveries are still going and growing strong, as Channel Express secures a long-term contract to be the leading aircraft provider of the Royal Mail.
2003 Jet2.com takes flight
Jet2.com operates its first flight from Leeds Bradford to Amsterdam on 12th February 2003. Following the success of its first route, Jet2.com expands to operate routes to Alicante, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Malaga, Milan Bergamo, Nice and Palma. We purchase a further eight Boeing 737-300s too. Fowler Welch and Coolchain combine forces to form Fowler Welch-Coolchain.
2002 A star is born - Jet2.com
Jet2.com, the leading low cost leisure airline, is launched! After the success of our chartered service, we announce that the first Jet2.com flight will take off in February 2003. Dart Group PLC purchases a further eight Boeing 737-300QCs. We also purchase a fourth Airbus A300-B4 for cargo. Jet2.com opens for business on 11th December 2002. It sells 12,000 seats online within the first 24 hours!
2001 Dart Group's journey with the Boeings begins
Dart Group PLC purchases two Boeing 737-300QC 'Quick Change' aircraft in May 2001. This new aircraft would go on to inspire the launch of Jet2.com as its 'Quick Change' (QC) system can transform from a 148 passenger to a 16 tonne payload freighter aircraft in 30 minutes. We also add new ACAS avionics to our Fokker F27 aircraft and introduce a tracking IT system for Fowler Welch.
2000 Coolchain is completely agreeable
Dart Group PLC darts upwards in size as it now has 1,500 colleagues across its companies. We're a major player for freight, distribution and delivery. Coolchain welcomes the new millenium by reaching a three year agreement with the Canary Island's Federation of Produce Growers. It also buys A. Wood & Son (Detling), a former local competitor.
1999 A cool new addition to Dart Group
Dart Group PLC purchases Coolchain to deliver even more fresh produce, packaging and warehousing. We also open a new consolidation centre in Portsmouth. We form Fowler Welch BVas a Netherlands company and Channel Express Parts Trading to supply aircraft parts to other airlines. A further 1.6 million shares are placed for Dart Group PLC. This brings the total in issue to 34 million.
1998 The only way is UPS for our three Airbus A300-B4 'Eurofreighters'
Channel Express is called upon by the major delivery providers UPS and DHL. We're also awarded Type Rating Training Organisation (TRTO) approval by the CAA and Joint Airworthiness Requirements (JAR 145).
1997 Each Bus stop delivers 45 tonnes for our customers
The Eurofreighter carries out daily 45 tonne deliveries from Sweden to Luxembourg on behalf of Panalpina. It's also used for a weekly Stansted to Tel Aviv service for British Airways World Cargo. Fowler Welch expands its Spalding warehouse and we also split our shares two for one, meaning there are now more than 32 million ordinary shares in issue.
1996 Dart Group PLC gets on the bus!
Dart Group PLC purchases the Airbus A300-B4, a 257 passenger aircraft that was the world's first twin-engine widebody jet airliner. We convert our into freighters with a mighty moniker the Eurofreighter. Fowler Welch also adds a new warehouse at its Spalding headquarters, as well as a lovely new logo and livery.
1995 Channel Express says 'buon giorno' to contract for Italian Post Office
Channel Express (Air Services) completes a six month contract for the Italian Post Office. The contract is a total success; with the one aircraft making swift deliveries between Genoa, Sardinia, Sicily and Rome.
1994 We welcome Fowler Welch into our Group
Dart Group PLC acquires Fowler Welch Ltd, a temperature-controlled distribution company. It becomes a major asset, making important deliveries to the top supermarkets every day. We also gain BS5750 Quality Assurance accreditation, which proves our systems are working to serve customers, shareholders and stakeholders.
1992 Channel Express gets there first yet again!
Channel Express is the first to win the containerised night mail contract for the Royal Mail. We put our new Electra aircraft into action for this highly time-sensitive operation between London Stansted and Edinburgh.
1991 Darting for glory as the Group puts its stock in London
Channel Express Group PLC gets a great new name "Dart Group PLC". The name honours the Rolls-Royce Dart engines that are so invaluable to the Group's forays into the air. Dart Group PLC moves to the Official List of the London Stock Exchange. The company's shareholders take up a further 2.75 million ordinary shares in a rights issue to raise funds for expansion, with 15.25 million ordinary shares are now in issue.
1990 Channel Express acquires Benair Freight Ltd.
Channel Express issues a further one million shares to buy Benair Freight Ltd, an international freight management company. It gives Channel Express an international presence with multinational bases. We also use the Fokker 27 for our new operation for Fedex between Birmingham and Brussels.
1989 Look out for the arrival of the Lockheed Electra!
Channel Express (Air Services) purchases the first of 5 Lockheed L-188 Electra freighter aircraft. Capable of carrying a 15 tonne payload, it can be loaded in 25 minutes and flies at 330 knots. We set it off for pastures new, flying to key European routes for UPS, TNT and DHL.
1988 Channel Express stocks up for success
Channel Express Group Ltd floats on the UK Unlisted Securities Market (USM) to raise capital for our ambitious expansion plans. Immediately after it floats, almost 11.2 million ordinary shares are in issue. We also secure more Royal Mail and UPS contracts, increasing our workforce to 200 colleagues.
1987 The answer's in the post for Channel Express
Channel Express delivers for express parcel carriers, the Guernsey Post Office, Royal Mail and newspaper publishers. It's 'super' news all round, as we expand our 'Super' Dart Herald aircraft fleet too. The Group expands its consolidation centres in both the Channel Islands and the UK.
1986 A super start to the year
Channel Express creates 'Super' Dart Herald! aircraft with improved instruments and avionics capable of delivering a payload of nearly 6 tonnes each.
1985 Channel Express Group wins TNT contract
Channel Express secures overnight parcel contracts with TNT. We acquire our third Handley Page Dart Herald to carry time-sensitive airfreight between Birmingham, Nuremburg and Hanover.
1984 A cooler way to deliver fresh flowers and produce
Channel Express invests in cooling equipment, cold stores and temperature-controlled vehicles. This helps to make our flowers even fresher.
1983 Philip Meeson channels an exciting new chapter for the Express companies
Philip Meeson, an expert pilot who trained in the Royal Air Force and is a five-time British Aerobatics Champion, purchases the 'Express' group of companies. We get a great new name too "Channel Express".
1980 Express Air Services wins a very regal contract
Express Air Freight buys its first Handley Page Dart Herald, the inspiration for our later name "Dart Group PLC". The aircraft 'darts' into action between Bournemouth and the Channel Islands!
1979 New Services take to the skies
Art Carpenter forms Express Air Services to take over the cargo aircraft operation from Express Air Freight.
1978 Here comes the Handley Page Dart Herald
Express Air Freight buys its first Handley Page Dart Herald, the inspiration for our later name "Dart Group PLC." The aircraft 'darts' into action between Bournemouth and the Channel Islands!
1975 A new name for the Art of flying flowers
Art Carpenter joins forces with Guernsey exporters to create Express Air Freight. The famous Douglas DC3 helped to fly produce, flowers and freight between the Channel Islands and the UK.
1971 Art Carpenter gets his company off the ground
Art Carpenter sets up Carpenter's Air Services and Carpenter's Transport Ltd to fly fragrant flowers from Guernsey (famous for the Battle of the Flowers) to the UK, and onwards to wholesale markets.