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Jet2.com boss welcomes rival airline at LBA
An airline boss believes passengers flying out of Leeds Bradford Airport could be the winners next summer after a rival firm revealed it is moving onto his patch.
And Ian Doubtfire, managing director of Jet2.com, which is based at the Yeadon site, insists his company is striving to get things right ahead of the arrival of Monarch.
Earlier this week, Monarch announced a deal with bosses at LBA which will see winter flights to Grenoble and Munich starting in December, with managing director Kevin George promising big things in summer 2013, with flights to the likes of the Mediterranean hotspots on the cards.
On the same day, Mr Doubtfire’s airline also announced flights to Grenoble in December, but tried to play down talk of a battle between Jet2.com and Monarch, especially during next year’s summer peak season.
But he did admit customers could be better off if Jet2.com and Monarch go head to head, while Ryanair are also waiting in the wings with services to destinations across Europe and beyond.
“I’ve found you need to be aware of what your competitors are doing but in a way you just need to be confident about your own product,” he said.
“Our aim is to be Yorkshire’s carrier.
“I’m sure competition will be good for the consumer, but we’re really focused on doing what we believe is right and what our customers need and want.
“We’ve got lots of ideas and we’re already thinking about 2013. Can I say watch this space?”
However, Mr Doubtfire did warn trading conditions were still difficult and the way people were taking holidays had changed in the tricky economic climate.
“Obviously we’re going to be careful and everybody’s being very careful about making sure people have got value for money. With fuel price at the moment we’re having to be very careful as well,” he said.
“We’re only going to put destinations on we know people really want to go to.
“I think people are certainly being very careful.
“For example, we’re seeing a lot of people booking on Jet2 holidays and going fully inclusive, where they really fix the cost of their holiday and know they’re not going to end up with a big bill at the end of it.
“We’ve really got a one-time opportunity to look after people and we’ve got a big programme going on throughout the company and every single member of staff is going through a customer care programme at the moment.
“Everybody is really focused on making our products the best we can.”