Low-cost carriers Easyjet and Jet 2 have confirmed the acquisition of UK airport slots made available by the collapse of travel company Thomas Cook.
Easyjet has purchased a total of 12 summer slot pairs and eight winter slots at Gatwick, along with six summer slots and one winter slot at Bristol, for a total of £36 million.
Meanwhile Jet 2 has acquired all of Thomas Cooks’ slot pairs at Birmingham, Manchester and Stansted for an undisclosed sum.
In a statement Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet 2 and Jet 2 Holidays, said:
“The acquisition of these key UK airport slots will play an important role in supporting our continued growth at Birmingham, London Stansted and Manchester Airports.”
“We have been adding more flights and aircraft, resulting in increased capacity, at each of these bases for many years. Today’s announcement is the latest demonstration of our commitment to providing holidaymakers with more choice and flexibility when it comes to flying to sun, city and ski destinations with our award-winning airline.”
Thomas Cook ceased trading in September, following unsuccessful last-minute negotiations to save the travel group, leading to what the Department for Transport called “the largest repatriation in peacetime history”, with “dozens of charter planes” hired to get up to 150,000 overseas customers home.
The group’s retail outlets were subsequently sold to rival Hays Travel.