EasyJet has revealed its easyJet Holidays tour operation will relaunch in the UK market before Christmas, taking bookings for the winter 2019 and summer 2020 seasons.
The new operation will fill some of the void left by the collapse of Thomas Cook in September.
EasyJet recently bought Thomas Cook’s flight slots at Gatwick and Bristol for £36 million.
Last month, it announced it would sell packages through agents.
The pre-Christmas launch was announced as easyJet revealed a 26% fall in full-year pre-tax profits.
At the same time, it said it plans to become the world’s first major net zero carbon airline by offsetting carbon emissions.
EasyJet Holidays will offer a wide range of city and beach holidays ‘teamed with the flexibility of our airline network and a simple-to-use and inspiring website’, the company said in a statement.
It added easyJet Holidays is expected to ‘at least break even’ by the end of the next financial year, September 30 2020. It described the operation as a ‘differentiated and financially meaningful holidays business’, which will operate ‘for a low upfront investment and limited risk’.
EasyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren said: “I am really thrilled that with the launch, before Christmas, of our brand new easyjet Holidays business we are bringing flexibility and excellent value to the holiday market.
“We are now able to offer our customers more than 100 amazing beach and city holiday destinations, pairing Europe’s best short-haul flight network with more than 5,000 of Europe’s best hotels.
“We believe there is a gap in the market for a modern, relevant and flexible business for today’s consumer.”
In its trading statement, easyJet said: “Around 20 million customers per year fly with easyJet to Europe’s largest leisure destinations, but only 0.5 million book accommodation with us. These 19.5 million leisure customers are our initial target market.
“The total European package holidays market is worth around £61 billion per year. The UK alone is a £13 billion market and has grown by 6% annually.
“Our research tells us that easyJet customers will value easyJet Holidays’ flight flexibility, curated portfolio of hand-picked hotels and compelling pricing.
“EasyJet Holidays is well placed to provide customers with this level of flexibility and the tailored holidays they want and our business is built to respond to this.”