celebrates growth with visit from the Minister for Aviation ‘A Northern Powerhouse’

Published on : Saturday, February 4, 2017

image001The Minister for Aviation, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, today visited leading leisure airline to learn more about the company’s growth plans and commitment to recruiting and developing people, including a tour of its multi-million pound training facility.


Lord Ahmad visited the company’s Headquarters in Leeds where he learned more about their development plans from senior figures within the business including the CEO of and Jet2holidays Steve Heapy, Managing Director of Phil Ward, and Commercial Director of and Jet2holidays Steve Lee. These plans include the launch of two new UK bases in Spring 2017 (London Stansted and Birmingham) and the addition of 34 brand new Boeing 737-800NG aircraft to the company’s fleet.


Since launching flights from Leeds Bradford Airport in 2003, has expanded to become one of the largest registered airlines in the UK. The airline flew over 6 million passengers last financial year and this year will fly to 67 sun, city and ski destinations across 20 countries from nine UK bases. Through Jet2holidays the company also offers great value ATOL protected package holidays to over 40 top sun destinations, with thousands of 2-5 star hotels available.


To support this, and Jet2holidays will employ 7,200 staff during the peak season this summer, a significant increase on 5,200 employees in 2016 and 2,500 just five years ago. During the visit, Lord Ahmad heard how the company not only plans to recruit staff across many roles, but also invest in its current workforce, to support this growth and ensure that customers are given the very best service throughout the journey.


This investment includes a multi-million pound state-of-the-art Training Centre in Bradford, which Lord Ahmad saw in operation. The Centre acts as a fully integrated Flight Simulator and Cabin Safety & Emergency Procedures (SEP) training centre for both flight deck and cabin crew. It houses four full flight Simulators as well as cabin crew trainer units and a high-tech Computer Based Training (CBT) room for pilots.


This commitment to investment in training has played a key role in helping the company win a number of recent awards based on in-flight experience, customer service and value. This includes being the only UK airline to be awarded ‘Recommended Provider’ status by Which?, as well as being voted the UK’s Top Airline by users of TripAdvisor and Skytrax.


Lord Ahmad, Aviation Minister, said: “I am delighted to have been able to visit, and particularly to have met the next generation of engineers, pilots and cabin crew at the airline’s dedicated training facility, seeing first-hand what goes in to their award-winning customer services.  I welcome the investment they are making, allowing them to expand and grow here in Leeds, and across the UK, including at their new bases at London Stansted and Birmingham.”


Steve Heapy, CEO of and Jet2holidays said: “With two new bases about to launch in the UK as well as brand new aircraft and a rapidly expanding team, it is an incredibly exciting time for and Jet2holidays, and we were delighted to share our plans with Lord Ahmad. As well as demonstrating our success and commitment to delivering the best experience for our customers, we had a positive and wide-ranging discussion with the Minister about a number of important issues affecting our industry.”


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