FAST-GROWING airline Jet2.com is bringing its call centre operations in South Africa to Leeds and is investing £9m in a new training academy for pilots and crew.
Philip Meeson, Jet2.com’s founder and chairman, told a business audience in Leeds today that in total the company has created more than 500 new jobs in Yorkshire this year. These two latest developments will generate more than 80 jobs locally, he said.
Jet2.com’s call centre in South Africa will move into the firm’s new 71,000 sq ft headquarters at The Mint in Leeds later this month. The firm’s call centre at Leeds Bradford Airport will relocate to The Mint too.
The new purpose built Jet2.com Training Academy will be based on the Euroway Industrial Estate, in Bradford.
It will house three flight simulators plus a cabin crew trainer unit to provide a training experience for both new recruits and existing pilots and crew across the company’s eight UK bases. Building will commence over the next couple of months with the aim to have the academy ready for spring 2014.
Mr Meeson said: “The heart of our business very much remains in Yorkshire so it’s fantastic to be able to announce further expansion in the region, providing even more jobs for this talented local workforce.
“Centralising our call centres in the city and developing our own purpose built training academy for our pilots and cabin crew is an investment in the future of our business, as we continue to grow.
“This year is set to be another successful year for us. Across our eight UK bases we are expecting to fly 5.5 million passengers to and from 61 destinations.
“These further developments clearly demonstrate our commitment to giving people the best possible service and great value flights and holidays to the Mediterranean, Canaries and top European cities.”
Mr Meeson made the announcements at the Leeds, York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce annual lunch. The event at The Queens Hotel in Leeds attracted more than 300 attendees.