LONDON – Jet2 has announced a significant shake-up by expanding into two terminals at Manchester International Airport (MAN). The airline will be expanding into Terminal 2 from February 1, 2019.

This expansion comes following the success Jet2 has had in Terminal 2 on flights to Lanzarote, Malaga, Mallorca, and Tenerife, since April 2018.

Photo: Laurent ERRERA

In a statement, the carrier stated that “a comprehensive plan has been put in place to ensure that customers continue to experience our award-winning service.”

The airline also stated how it has made clear the swaps and which terminals to use. The following flights, which previously operated in Terminal 1, will now transfer over to Terminal 2:

  • Alicante (From Feb 1)
  • Almeria (From May 4)
  • Antalya (From Feb 16)
  • Barcelona (From Feb 3)
  • Bodrum (From May 2)
  • Izmir (From May 1)
  • Krakow (From Feb 1)
  • Malta (From Feb 17)
  • Menorca (From May 2)
  • Naples (From Mar 3)
  • Nice (From Mar 11)
  • Pisa (From Mar 29)
  • Pula (From May 5)
  • Verona (From May 8)

A relatively young airline growing strong

Jet2 first launched operations from MAN in December 2004, operating primarily from Terminal 1 to a myriad of niche destinations that catered to a small market.

Today, however, the leisure carrier is in a position where it operates flights to 54 destinations from Manchester alone, showing its significant expansion over the past 14 years.

In the last 15 years, Jet2 has also seen a constant rise in passenger numbers. During its first year of operations under the Jet2 brand, it carried just 604,563 passengers with a 78.9% load factor. In 2017, it carried 9,695,445 passengers with a much healthier 90.6% load factor. 

In between those periods, most of the passenger number gains have been in the double figures, apart from some areas where external circumstances have occurred.

Jet2 has grown, in recent times, taking on a significant amount of Boeing 737-800s, of which it now has 61 in its fleet. The airline has its older -300s ready to be phased out over the next few years.

About 76 out of the 87 aircraft in its fleet are 737s, with the other 11 being 757-200s that have an average age of 28.8 years compared to the 12.2 years on the 737s. 

Positioning Post-Monarch

It could be suggested that this expansion into Terminal 2 is a result of the bankruptcy of Monarch.

It is unclear whether this was the case, but considering Monarch was a key player out of Terminal 2, it would make clearer sense if this was the case.

Through the budget carrier going under, slots at MAN would have to be withdrawn back to the airport.

Other UK carriers, such as TUI, could have snatched up some of the Monarch slots, increasing the competition at the airport with more participants taking a piece of the unclaimed pie.

There is a significant level of services that Jet2 has migrated over to Terminal 2, so it will be interesting to see whether any new routes will be announced based on that transfer itself.

The Expansion Front

Another reason for the switch could be due to the expansion plans that Manchester currently has over the next 10-15 years.

Part of Terminal 1 will have to be knocked down and rebuilt, including multi-story car parks and main terminal buildings.

This would suggest that the level of capacity Jet2 offers from Terminal 1 would have to be moved, as it would get in the way of the expansion plans.

Moving most of the operations to Terminal 2 would be beneficial due to more pier space. As the airport adds more stands in the expansion, it would make way for more routes to be launched, either domestically or internationally.

That being said, when the new slots do become available during the expansion, there will be intense competition over who becomes the highest bidder.

In this case, when you have international carriers with more money and a bigger fleet size, it could play as a disadvantage to the likes of Jet2.

It seems clear here that beyond the expansion and the repositioning that comes with this terminal transfer, it offers an opportunity for Jet2 to think more outside of the box.

This is a chance to increase the route portfolio even further after the transfer takes place, and could solidify its position on a stronger basis out of Ringway as expansion develops.