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Thomas Cook collapse boosts demand for Dart Group's holiday business

Thomas Cook collapse boosts demand for Dart Group's holiday business
A Jet2 Boeing 737-300 airplane takes off from the airport in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, July 29, 2018. REUTERS/Paul Hanna/Files -
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(Reuters) – Dart Group, the owner of British airline and tour operator Jet2, said it had seen stronger demand for some of its products since Thomas Cook entered into compulsory liquidation last month, and expects full-year pretax profit to exceed market expectations.

The company said on Friday it had received good levels of later season bookings in its leisure travel business, with strong demand for its Flight-Only offering and Package Holiday products.

Thomas Cook, the world’s oldest travel company whose shops have been a feature of British town centres for generations, collapsed last month, stranding tens of thousands of passengers as its UK business went into liquidation.

Dart, which runs Britain’s third-biggest airline in terms of passenger numbers behind easyJet Plc and British Airways, said it will continue to assess the impact Thomas Cook’s collapse will have on its business in the coming months.

Shares in the company were seen rising as much as 15%, according to premarket indicators.

“Given the cost pressures the travel industry is facing in general, which will intensify given the weakness in sterling, plus the deepening Brexit uncertainty and the impact this may have on consumer confidence, we remain very cautious in our outlook,” the company said.

Dart’s airline Jet2.com competes against Ryanair Holding Plc and easyJet, while its package holiday business Jet2holidays competes against TUI AG.

(Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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