EasyJet Holidays adding around 200 extra hotels after Thomas Cook collapse
EasyJet Holidays has been inundated with enquiries from hoteliers wanting to do business with it following the demise of Thomas Cook.
CEO Garry Wilson said easyJet Holidays had originally planned to launch at the end of this year with 500 hotels and had reached that target a month ago, but was now adding a ‘couple hundred’ more.
He said easyJet Holidays was ‘shocked and saddened’ by the news of Thomas Cook’s collapse but admitted the event had opened up opportunities for easyJet’s new tour operating venture.
Speaking at a press briefing at the ABTA Convention in Tokyo this week, Wilson said there was already a huge crossover of destinations with Thomas Cook and easyJet would now be looking at where to put capacity to meet shifts in demand.
EasyJet Holidays is now in talks with independent agents and consortia to develop a ‘structured deal’ to sell its holidays through the trade. Trade roadshows will take place in the next few months.
“We see a huge opportunity with the trade. We know the value they bring. It would be an opportunity that we would be foolish to ignore. What’s important for us is that it’s a simple business model that’s easy to understand and that makes money for both sides,” he said.
“Thomas Cook’s demise has given us the opportunity to bring that forward.”
When launched, EasyJet Holidays will look to join ABTA and Wilson said it wanted to play an active role within the association.
“We don’t want to be the outsider in the industry. There is a place for a modern and relevant holiday company, a new player that can energise the market and industry,” said Wilson.
Launching to the UK market with 100 destinations, the company’s website is currently being rigorously tested.
“The technology means we can scale it into other European markets longer term,” said Wilson.
He promised a clean, simple and customer-friendly website that uses AI to provide a personalised experience.
Customer log-ins will be shared with easyJet, the airline.
A date has not been confirmed for the launch but it will be supported by a ‘significant’ marketing campaign, both digital and television. Shooting for the advert was finished last week.