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Jet2 boss Philip Meeson blows up airports over holiday chaos

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Jet2 boss Philip Meeson blasts ‘terribly ill-prepared’ airports amid ongoing holiday chaos

Jet2’s boss destroyed “ill-prepared and ill-equipped” airports for the ongoing chaos faced by vacationers.

Reporting a loss of £388.8m, the package tour provider criticized suppliers and airport management for their ‘unforgivable’ failure to return to normal operations after Covid.

Jet2 executive chairman Philip Meeson said “appalling customer service” meant passengers were subjected to “a much worse experience” than they should have been.

Jet2 executive chairman Philip Meeson (pictured) said ‘appalling customer service’ meant passengers were subjected to ‘a much worse experience’ than they should have been

Shares fell 11.9 percent, or 106p, to 783.8p yesterday.

Since the end of the Covid restrictions, holidaymakers and business travelers have been hit by delays, cancellations, long queues, baggage handling issues and a lack of onboard catering.

British Airways canceled a further 10,300 flights to European hotspots this summer this week.

An industry analysis shows that the airline – once known as “the world’s favorite airline” – has canceled 34,000 flights since January, affecting about 5.6 million passengers.

Heathrow Airport last month asked airlines to cancel flights because it couldn’t cope with demand. At the same time, Gatwick has reduced flights in the summer due to staff shortages.

Meeson, who founded Jet2 in 2002 and launched his holiday business five years later, said: ‘We have been directly affected by the wider disruption seen in the airline industry and its supply chains.

Many suppliers are woefully ill-prepared and ill-equipped for the number of customers they could reasonably expect.

“This difficult return to normalcy is simply due to the lack of planning, preparedness and unwillingness to invest on the part of many airports and related suppliers.”

The comments came as Jet2 – which flies from airports such as Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds and Stansted – said its losses in the 12 months to the end of March had increased from £369.9 million to £388.8 million.

The slump came despite revenues more than tripled from £395.4 million to £1.2 billion.

The company said average prices on its package holidays rose 2 percent to £689 after hotels cut costs last year, but said prices are likely to come under pressure this year as the cost of living crisis impacts consumer spending .

Meeson said current year performance “depends very much on how quickly the broader aviation sector returns to a certain level of stability, as well as the strength of bookings for the remainder of the summer and the second half of the financial year, a period for which we still have limited visibility’.

Julie Palmer, a partner at business restructuring firm Begbies Traynor, said: ‘2022 was intended to be a record year for the travel industry, but Jet2’s results have exposed the cocktail of problems plaguing the industry.

Widespread staff shortages are causing terrible delays at airports, meaning late bookings are declining as potential holidaymakers put off their last-minute breaks for fear of getting caught up in the chaos.

“Throw in the rampant inflation, which is depressing consumer confidence, and summer doesn’t look so rosy for travel companies.”

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