Jet2 is set to add seven Airbus A321 aircraft to its fleet. According to @planemadblog on Twitter, the first is set to enter the fleet in January 2020.
This comes as a somewhat interesting move. Other then leasing the Airbus A330 wide body over the past few summer seasons, Jet2 has been primarily a Boeing operator.
However, with the Boeing 737Max crisis, the now out of production 737NG series have been somewhat difficult to come across. This is either due to airlines holding on to theirs longer than planned or leasing in the type to cover the shortages.
With acquiring seven A321’s, Jet2 will have a decent sized fleet of them. Therefore the airline will not suffer too badly with commonality costs.
All of the A321 aircraft due to enter the Jet2 fleet are fairly recent builds. The eldest airframe was delivered to the airline in May 2014.
All of the aircraft due to Jet2 have worn the Thomas Cook livery. Five have operated for the airline itself, and two for its German division, Condor. All of the aircraft are currently in storage after the collapse of the Thomas Cook earlier in 2019.
The current Jet2 fleet consists of 82 Boeing 737 aircraft, 10 Boeing 757 aircraft and a single Airbus A330 leased from Air Tanker. Of the 82 737 aircraft that are currently in the fleet, 9 are the classic -300. It’s sensible to assume that the incoming A321’s will replace these 9 older aircraft. Although as the airline has acquired a number of Thomas Cook’s slots, the new aircraft could also be used for growth.
With the recent demise of both Monarch Airlines and Thomas Cook, Jet2 has risen to become one of the major leisure airlines in the UK. Originally founded as Channel Express in 1982, the airline initially focused on cargo operations. In 2003, the airline moved its focus to passenger operations. Initially setting up a twice daily rotation between Leeds/Bradford and Amsterdam. In the early days, there was even a Gatwick – Manchester service. These days the airline is the UK’s third largest scheduled airline.
Whilst primarily focusing on the North of the UK, in recent years the airline has opened a base at London Stansted airport.