and On Holiday Group launch package operation and On Holiday Group have joined forces to launch, claiming it will undercut mainstream package providers year round.

A planned announcement in December was postponed because On Holiday Group had to rebuild its servers in expectation of the level of interest in the venture. It will be backed by a £1 million peak time TV advertising campaign.

On Holiday Group chief executive Steve Endacott described Jet2holidays as “virtually vertically integrated” claiming it could force traditional operators to overhaul their business model of higher prices during the peak season. chief executive Philip Meeson said packages will be “hundreds of pounds cheaper” than major operators.

Packages will be available in 26 European destinations from’s six airports in the north, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Jet2holidays will offer “Thomson-level” commission and sell through trade partners. Talks are under way with one major chain.

“Agents can earn commission, add on a service fee and the holidays will still be cheaper than what else is in the market,” Meeson said.

However, Cosmos sales director Andy Washington said packages sold on the basis of a commitment to a specific airline were unlikely to offer enough flexibility to meet customer demand.

Industry insiders have dubbed the plan “Airtours mark two”, expecting the operation to expand rapidly from the north into other UK hubs and destinations.

Travelzest chief executive Chris Mottershead warned there could be tension about the number of seats the airline allows the joint-venture to package with accommodation. chief executive Philip Meeson said agents can add a mark-up to packages as well as receiving commission. The launch is backed by a £1 million ad campaign.

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