Jet2holidays.com is targeting more sales through online travel agents as new Atol regulations come in later this month that seek to regulate the dynamic packaging sector.
The sister company of regional carrier Jet2.com has brought in Ben Cook from Thomas Cook as online distribution manager to develop relations with OTAs who is due to start on April 17.
Alan Cross, the operator’s trade general manager, said that new API feeds are being developed, stressing that the channel is increasing in importance for the operator.
“Through Jet2.com we already have API connections with Multicom, Traveltek and Travelport and we are in the process of building these at the moment for holidays.
“OTAs using these systems is a rapidly growing part of our business.”
New Flight-Plus Atol regulations, due to come into force on April 30, have been developed with the travel industry and regulator the CAA to bring more holidays under the umbrella of protection.
This will require retailers selling components packaged together to have an agency agreement in place with suppliers and to provide customers with an Atol certificate setting out what is covered.
The changes have been criticised as being a sledgehammer approach intended to catch a small number of large OTAs who had been considered to be operating outside of the law.
Cross said he expects many agents to try to avoid the hassle of Flight-plus by selling Atol protected packages and that Jet2Holidays was fully prepared for the new rules.
“We are looking to further grow the holidays side of the business, particularly with the new Atol reforms coming in,” he said.
“There are a lot of agents who want to sleep at night and to have someone else to deal with the hassle. Selling a package is the answer. We are ahead of the game with agency agreements and looking to build Atol Certificates into confirmations.”
Jet2.com is among a dwindling number of airlines adding the sort of capacity to key holiday destinations that online agents need to create packages.
Last week it marked its first year operating out of Glasgow by launching routes to Barcelona, Malaga, Lanzarote, Ibiza, Crete and Rhodes.
The additional services are a welcome addition following the demise of Scottish Globespan in 2010.