Jet2 expects profit to rise 33% to £520m

Leeds-based Jet2 plc forecast a 33% rise in annual profit and said 55% of seats were sold for the 2024 summer season amid strong forward bookings for package holiday customers and demand from flight-only passengers.

Jet2 revised its expectations for group profit before foreign exchange revaluation and taxation to between £515 million and £520 million for the year ended March 31, 2024, from a previously guided £510 million to £525 million.

In a trading update, Jet2 said: “Our balance sheet position remains very strong with total cash at 31 March 2024 of £3.2bn and an ‘Own Cash’ balance (excluding customer advance deposits) of £1.3bn …

“On sale seat capacity for summer 2024 is currently 12.3% higher than summer 2023 at 17.1m seats. The season is 55% sold, with average load factors 1.0ppt ahead of summer 2023 at the same point.

“Forward bookings for package holiday customers are up by 13% and we are also seeing healthy demand from flight-only passengers for which bookings are currently up by over 18%.

“Consequently, the package holiday mix of total departing passengers is 74% and 1ppt below last year.

“Booked to date pricing for summer 2024 across both our leisure travel products is showing a modest increase compared to the same period last year which is helping to mitigate previously announced increases in input costs, although recently, pricing has been more competitive, particularly for April and May departures.

“Since February, we have taken delivery of a further two new CFM powered A321neo aircraft from Airbus in line with our agreed delivery schedule, with both paid for from our own cash reserves.

“We now have seven in our fleet ahead of summer 2024 with another four aircraft from our order planned to arrive before the end of FY25. Additionally, in late March, flight operations from our new Liverpool Airport base commenced successfully, with forward bookings encouraging and customer feedback very positive.

“Operationally we are well set for a successful summer 2024 season with the required number of aircraft to support our flying programme and sufficient, fully trained resources to operate our end-to-end product proposition to our normal high standards of customer care.

“We are also over 90% hedged for fuel for the season and over 80% for the full financial year in line with our well-established hedging policy, providing important cost certainty given unfolding events in the Middle East.

“Furthermore, on 26 March, we were pleased to announce expansion of our UK footprint at Bournemouth Airport, where flights will commence from 1 April 2025. This will become Jet2’s 12th airport base demonstrating confidence in our Customer First proposition.

“In summary, we are pleased with our progress for FY25 to date although as ever, we remain mindful of the current macro-economic and geo-political environments and how these may impact future consumer spending.

“Consequently, and with over 40% of summer 2024 and the majority of winter 2024/2025 seasons still to sell, it is too early to provide guidance as to group profitability for FY25.”

Jet2 CEO Steve Heapy said: “We are pleased with the strong financial results for FY24 which underlines the resilience, flexibility and popularity of our product offering, plus the outstanding customer service provided by our colleagues.

“Although still very early in FY25, we remain confident that as a much trusted holiday provider with an end-to-end customer care approach underpinned by our principles of ‘People, Service, Profits’, our Customers will continue to travel with us from our Rainy Island to the sun spots of the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands and to European Leisure Cities.”