Here at Dart Group PLC, we’re very proud of our incredibly diverse history. It’s been a very exciting journey to get where we are today! We’ve gone from delivering flowers of every colour in the rainbow to flying passengers over them with our ever-growing fleet of aircraft. At a pace that matches our speedy deliveries, Dart Group PLC has expanded with its three successful companies.
Jet2.com now operates more than 300 routes from bases at nine UK airports. Sister company Jet2holidays offers over 2,000 hotels at more than 40 city and sun destinations. Plus, Fowler Welch is now one of the UK leaders for supply fast moving goods to the top supermarkets. Such a flying success has been nurtured for over 40 years. Read on and you’ll discover how we grew as a Group, with many interesting tales along the way. We invite you to share our story:
1971 Art Carpenter gets his company off the ground
In 1971, Art Carpenter sets up Carpenter’s Air Services and Carpenter’s Transport Ltd focusing the companies on flying flowers from Guernsey to the UK mainland and on to the wholesale markets.
It’s a process that Channel Express will go on to perfect from 1983 onwards. Guernsey was a great place for growing flowers thanks to its long sun-filled summers and mild winters and steady rainfall throughout the year was a big help too! The island’s connection with all things floral still survives today, especially at the annual Battle of Flowers held every August. Started to commemorate Liberation Day from the German occupation after World War II, the event features many huge, vibrantly coloured flower floats.
Art Carpenter joins forces with Guernsey exporters to create Express Air Freight. Carrying out similar duties to the previous companies, Express Air Freight flies produce, flowers and freight between the Channel Islands and the UK. Interestingly, the contracted cargo aircraft it used included the famous Douglas DC-3, an amazingly durable aircraft that first took flight in 1935. To highlight its reliability, it remained in service with airlines around the world for over 50 years.
Here at Dart Group PLC, we have a great affection for the aircraft that have served us over the years and you might be interested to know that we’re even named after aircraft engines! This heritage traces back to 1978, when Express Air Freight bought its first Handley PageDart Herald aircraft. First built in 1959, the aircraft was an exceptional freighter, with outstanding short haul reliability and powerful Rolls-Royce Dartturboprop engines. In this same year, the aircraft ‘darts’ into action and begins flying between Bournemouth and the Channel Islands.
Carpenter forms Express Air Services to take over the cargo aircraft operation from Express Air Freight.
Express Air Services secures its first contract with the Royal Mail, the UK’s largest postal operator. Royal Mail relies on Express Air Services for the on-time delivery of first class mail between Bournemouth, Bristol and Liverpool Airports. It’s a success story from the very get-go, as Royal Mail are delighted with the punctuality and reliability of the Dart Herald that carries 5.5 tonnes of urgent mail overnight for impressively fast next day delivery. If we may say so ourselves, this year marked the start of a beautiful relationship between Royal Mail and us. It’s one that lasted 36 years with the prestigious postal company relying on our night-time deliveries. It’s also the start of another tip-top partnership as one of our longest serving directors, Andrew Menzies joins us at the beginning of the exciting 80s. Andrew is the main man for maintenance, serving in vital technical roles for Air UK Limited and British Airways Limited before joining us. Throughout his time with the company, Andrew has ‘maintained’ an impressive commitment to our fleet’s fantastic safety and reliability record. As such, he became our Technical Director in 1992 and is still ensuring we’re going strong today.
Things start to take off as Philip Meeson, an expert pilot who trained in the Royal Air Force and is a five-times British Aerobatics Champion, purchases the ‘Express’ group of companies. It is a pivotal moment in our history, as Philip is the Dart Group’s Executive Chairman, being the driving force for continual growth across three decades. Having already built up a successful vehicle distribution company, Philip’s background gives him the experience and expertise to take the Group’s deliveries into the stratosphere. Philip changes his companies’ names to reflect their trading activities more accurately:
If flowers brightened your table in the eighties, there’s a good chance they were delivered by Channel Express! So to give you an idea of effort involved in getting vividly bright flowers and fresh produce to your table, we thought we’d describe the process in a nutshell:
The story begins on the emerald green fields of Guernsey and Jersey, where huge glasshouses glimmer in the sunlight for as far as your eye can see. Inside these greenhouses, there’s a hive of activity as employees work on planting, watering, feeding, cutting and pruning flowers, all at precisely the perfect moment. The temperature and humidity is also constantly checked to create the ideal conditions for wonderfully vibrant flowers.
It’s a real team effort and our colleagues would be ready and waiting to pick up the endless rows of roses, freesias and carnations to fly to the UK. Not many people know that the heat picked up in the greenhouses actually has to be extracted from the flowers before they’re packed to fly. Once this process is complete they’re then ready to be boxed and loaded onto our Handley Page Dart Herald Aircraft.
Our expert pilots then make the 40 minute flight back to Bournemouth in the UK. Our colleagues on the mainland speedily unload the flowers from the aircraft and then pack them into our twin-trailer refrigerated Lorries. From here, they’re ready to be delivered to flower wholesalers across the UK, including the famed Covent Garden Flower Market in London in just 12 hours!
Because everyone loves fresh flowers, Channel Express Group Ltd invests in cooling equipment, cold stores and temperature-controlled vehicles. This improves the freshness and extends the life of the Channel Islands flowers and produce being transported to the UK wholesale markets. These benefits are also invaluable on our return flights bringing food and goods to the Channel Islands. Refrigeration is a huge part of our business, as it keeps everything in a perfect state while we busy ourselves with travelling to destinations on time.
The Channel Express Group secures overnight parcel contracts with TNT, the major worldwide delivery company. TNT relies on Channel Express (Air Services) Ltd to carry time-sensitive documents and airfreight between Birmingham, Nuremburg and Hanover. To this end, the company acquires its third Handley Page Dart Herald. Ever the reliable aircraft, its impressive short haul performance and ease of loading for loose and palletised cargo is again in much demand for these operations.
No, it’s a ‘Super’ Dart Herald! To meet the increasing demand for urgent deliveries, Channel Express Group modifies and upgrades its fleet of Handley Page Dart Herald aircraft. We create ‘Super’ Dart Herald aircraft with improved instruments and avionics capable of delivering a payload of nearly 6 tonnes each.
The livery for both our Channel Express aircraft and vehicles was a bright shade of green. This was a conscious choice as the colour connects us with the traditional sporting colours for the island of Guernsey. The red rose that forms part of the logo was chosen by Philip to reflect one of our most popular flower deliveries.
Channel Express (Air Services) is consistently called upon to deliver for express parcel carriers, the Guernsey Post Office, Royal Mail and newspaper publishers. You may notice that all of these companies have a need for extremely speedy deliveries – well, that’s exactly what we’re good at!
In fact, it’s ‘super’ news all round, as the outstanding service of Channel Express is in such high demand that the Group expands its ‘Super’ Dart Herald aircraft fleet.
It’s a similar story at the Channel Express Ltd distribution division. To handle the ever-increasing volume of flowers it distributes, the Group expands its consolidation centres in both the Channel Islands and the UK. Our daily deliveries of flowers were now so great; the sweet smell of success certainly followed our floral centres.
Channel Express Group Ltd floats on the UK Unlisted Securities Market (USM) to raise capital for our ambitious expansion plans. Immediately after it floats, almost 11.2 million ordinary shares are in issue through stockbrokers, McCaughan Dyson Capel Cure. This step paves the way for a bright future for the Group, as all of our budding divisions really begin to flower.
As a footnote for this success, Channel Express secures yet more Royal Mail contracts within the UK, opening new operating bases in Luton and Birmingham. It also secures its first overnight contract for UPS, with the upgraded ‘Super’ Dart Herald delivering increased capacity between Southend and the UPS European hub in Cologne.
The dedicated workforce for the Channel Express group now consists of 200 colleagues, with half of the team based at Bournemouth. Our impressive fleet now features 31 Lorries, 46 temperature-controlled trailers and seven ‘Super’ Dart Herald aircraft. The aircraft have those ‘super’ upgrades that improve payloads and avionics, whilst our temperature-controlled trailers are essential for keeping things nice and cool. We’re sure you agree it takes a great deal of smart investment to have equipment this good!
Announcing the arrival of the aircraft that sounds like a superhero – the Lockheed Electra! It certainly helps us towards heroic efforts of deliveries in 1989. Channel Express (Air Services) purchases the first of five Lockheed L-188 Electra freighter aircraft in this year.
Initially built in 1957, the L-188 Electra made its mark on history as the USA’s first large turboprop airliner. Capable of carrying a containerised 15 tonne payload, more than double that of the ‘Super’ Dart Herald, this aircraft could be fully loaded in 25 minutes and flew at 330 knots. The Electra enables the Group to make great strides in increasing efficiency and driving its expansion.
We were the first company in the UK to purchase and fly the aircraft which meant that we had to pass all kinds of strict tests to be certified to fly in the UK. The result? We spent 12 weeks in California, achieving a pass in all requirements, including a noise certificate. Once again, we proved that perseverance pays off when it comes to setting the standards that others can only follow.
After first demonstrating its capability in The Golden State of California, and then on the Channel Islands service, the Electra fleet is soon in great demand for its cargo capacity and reliability. We set it off for pastures new, flying to key European routes for UPS, TNT and DHL.
The ‘Super’ and the Electra sound like a dynamic duo, and they certainly perform as such for us. Our ever-dependable ‘Super’ Dart Heralds continue to provide a brilliant service on a network of short haul routes. To meet customer demand, Channel Express purchases two more of this trusty aircraft. Channel Express Group’s fleet size now stands at nine aircraft.
On the subject of all things dynamic, this is the year that Steve Lee, Jet2.com’s Commercial Director, joins the company. Steve joins Channel Express as an Operations Officer following ten fine years in the Royal Air Force in Air Traffic Control. And just like the RAF, Steve certainly moved up the ranks with us, becoming a Commercial Director in 2002. Steve really helps us to soar, and during his 23 years at the company, he’s headed up all types of teams, including Revenue, Customer Service, Marketing and IT.
Channel Express Group issues a further one million shares to buy Benair Freight Ltd. Benair Freight Ltd is an international freight management company, providing solutions for land, sea and airfreight logistics. This acquisition gives Channel Express an international presence with multinational bases.
Channel Express (Air Services) commences operations for FedEx, the global package delivery company, using the Fokker F27 aircraft for timely distribution between Birmingham and Brussels.
First flown in 1955, the Fokker F27 Friendship is another example of an aircraft that is fitted with the trusty Rolls-Royce Dart engine. The Fokker F27 offers quick loading through two doors and delivers payloads of up to 6.3 tonnes. Indeed, such was its success; FedEx continued to use the Fokker F27 until the end of 2009.
The decade begins dazzlingly for our director appointments too, as this is the year that Ian Doubtfire joins our company. And there’s no ‘doubt’ that Ian instantly makes a positive impact, eventually resulting in him becoming a Channel Express Director in 1994 and a Jet2holidays Director in 2009. As well as taking part in incredible feats of endurance by running marathons for charity, as our current Managing Director Ian has certainly achieved enduring success for us.
Channel Express Group PLC gets a great new name – Dart Group PLC.
The name honours the dependable Rolls-Royce Dart engines that are so invaluable to the Group’s successful forays into the air. This powerful turboprop engine powers the ‘Super’ Herald Dart and Fokker F27 aircraft, helping the Group achieve its reputation for reliability.
Despite the new name, Dart Group PLC continues to look after the same companies: Channel Express (Air Services), Channel Express Ltd, Channel Express (CI) Ltd and Benair Freight Ltd.
Dart Group PLC moves to the Official List of the London Stock Exchange and the company’s shareholders take up a further 2.75 million ordinary shares in a rights issue to raise funds for financing further expansion. 15.25 million ordinary shares are now in issue, highlighting the Group’s drive for growth and continued success.
Channel Express is the first to win the containerised night mail contract for the Royal Mail. This job calls for the Electra…we put it straight into action for this highly time-sensitive operation. With an impressive capacity to carry 15 tonnes of mail, the Electra enables Channel Express to reduce flight times and cut turnaround times by half on the key route between London Stansted and Edinburgh. On arrival in Edinburgh, the aircraft containers are loaded straight onto Royal Mail Lorries for immediate carriage direct to the Glasgow and Edinburgh mail centres. Our overnight deliveries for Royal Mail ensure a service fit for a king!
Dart Group PLC adds to its fleet by purchasing the first of seven Fokker F27 aircraft for operation by Channel Express. Having already proved itself during the Group’s FedEx contract, the aircraft is extremely popular with a great variety of clients on their six tonne routes. This superb aircraft has a larger cargo door for loading in a jiffy. The Fokker also has a further rear door and can be loaded up twice as fast. It also carries higher payloads and flies faster.
Many of our old aircraft often had twin propellers, a design which has sadly been phased out with the newer more modern aircraft. We think the propellers certainly lend the models a classic quality.
Credit where it’s due – Channel Express (Air Services) gains BS5750 Quality Assurance accreditation in this year. It’s a nice pat on the back that proves our systems are working to serve our customers, shareholders and stakeholders.
It’s a big year for our distribution division too, as Dart Group PLC acquires Fowler Welch Ltd, a temperature-controlled distribution company based in Spalding, Lincolnshire. The company becomes a major asset to the Group, and goes from strength to strength in achieving its aims of reliable goods delivery. It now makes truckloads of all-important deliveries to the top supermarkets every day. So the next time you’re enjoying a tasty meal after your supermarket shop, think of Fowler Welch!
Dart Group PLC changes the name of Benair Freight Ltd to Benair Freight International Ltd. a name that gives a better hint at the company’s worldwide freight operations.
Channel Express (Air Services) relies on its superior air power of Super Dart Heralds and Fokker F27s to complete a six month contract for the Italian Post Office. The contract is a total success; with the Channel Express (Air Services) aircraft making swift deliveries between Genoa, Sardinia, Sicily and Rome.
Sardinia and Rome still have a place in our hearts to this very day, as we operate successful Jet2.com flights to both these idyllic Italian destinations. It fits that as we’re continually making great history, we should have a route to the ‘Eternal City’ of Rome!
This was the year we caught the bus – no, we didn’t have a drastic change in fortunes; it’s simply that we bought our first Airbus!
Dart Group PLC purchases the Airbus A300-B4, a 257 passenger aircraft. Launched in 1972, the A300 was the world’s first twin-engine wide body jet airliner. The aircraft proved to be particularly efficient, saving as much as 30% fuel compared to other aircraft in its class. The aircraft has a huge capacity – 350 cubic metres in fact – and we felt that the aircraft was really worth shouting about, as shown in our ‘First off the ground’ ad.
In another first, the model we owned, the A300-B4 became the first ETOPS aircraft. Although it sounds like the name of a new pop group, ETOPS actually stands for Extended Twin Engine Operations. This gives the A300-B4 more route access, thanks to its consistent performance and impressive safety record.
The huge size of the A300-B4 makes it an incredible freighter, with the ability to carry 45 tonnes in a single payload. Channel Express notes how great it is from the very beginning, so we become the launch customer for Airbus A300 freighter conversion programme by BAE Systems Aviation Services at Filton, Bristol. Once the conversion is completed, we give a mighty new moniker to the aircraft: the ‘Eurofreighter.’
Such is the expansive success of the first A300-B4 conversion; we develop quite a taste for these exciting new Eurofreighters. Dart Group PLC buys further Airbus A300-B4 aircraft for conversion, all within this very year.
On the distribution side of things, Fowler Welch and Channel Express join to trade under the Fowler Welch banner. As a result of this perfect match, Fowler Welch sports a lovely new livery, and a logo featuring plums, pears, tomatoes and flowers. After all, those items represent the deliveries we do best! To celebrate, Fowler Welch also adds a new warehouse at its Spalding headquarters.
We’re greatly aided in setting forward with this exciting airliner by Antony Sainthill, our Director for A300 programmes. Antony joined us in 1993 after having fruitful careers running a cargo airline, working for an aircraft remarketing company and being part of the Armed Services. This certainly puts Antony in a commanding position when it comes to arranging the Eurofreighter conversion programme. Marching onwards, Antony became Jet2.com’s Director for Aircraft Management in 2007, since then the fleet has become even more fantastic, almost doubling in size.
Channel Express sends its first Airbus A300-B4 ‘Eurofreighter’ into the skies. It proves a fantastic short-haul performer, carrying out daily 45 tonne deliveries from Sweden to Luxembourg on behalf of Panalpina. The Panalpina Group is one of the world’s leading supply chain providers, and it relies on Channel Express to carry its deliveries speedily across snow swept scenes. When winter comes in Sweden, our flights take plenty of planning for safe landings on ice runways. You do enjoy an incredible view from above the Airbus at this time though. Look down and you’ll see an entire country covered in a blanket of pristine white, lit up by the amber glare of streetlights.
The Airbus A300-B4 ‘Eurofreighter’ is also the aircraft to call upon for longer distances. Channel Express launches this aircraft for a weekly Stansted to Tel Aviv service for British Airways World Cargo, one of the world’s largest cargo airlines. Interestingly, the Group’s connection to Tel Aviv continues to this very day, with Jet2.com flights to the destination direct from Manchester. We are the first airline to offer this service.
Channel Express converts its second and third Airbus A300-B4 from passenger to freighter aircraft. This means its Airbus A300-B4 ‘Eurofreighter’ fleet is now capable of a combined payload of 135 tonnes from a single delivery. To give you an idea of how much that is – it’s the weight of 30 elephants!
Fowler Welch expands its Spalding warehouse, with its extension giving 200,000 sq. ft. of chilled warehouse space – the size of 28 football pitches!
You can put your trust in us: the Dart Group PLC purchases two Airbus A300-B2 aircraft to provide spare parts and engines for its main fleet. This addition to improve reliability proves that the whole is even greater than the sum of its parts.
We also split our shares two for one, meaning the number of overall ordinary shares in issue is more than 32 million.
With its reputation for reliability, punctuality and efficiency ever increasing, Channel Express is called upon by the major delivery providers UPS and DHL. UPS is the world’s largest package delivery company, whilst DHL has a huge global network for carrying out its international logistics. Both of these international companies count on us as a valued partner. In return, Channel Express soars all three of its Airbus A300-B4 ‘Eurofreighters’ into the night skies for these major providers.
Proving our worth yet again, Channel Express achieves Joint Airworthiness Requirements (JAR) 145 approval. The JAR 145 recognises how committed we are to looking after our aircraft.
It’s a year of being recognised for Channel Express, and our aircrew Training School achieves Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Type Rating Training Organisation (TRTO) approval. The TRTO is only awarded to training schools that have the highest standards in all areas, from equipment to educational resources, funding to project management, so we’re very proud of this.
Dart Group PLC purchases the Coolchain group of companies. Based in Kent, Coolchain is already known for whisking fresh produce across the country and with the backing of Dart Group PLC, Coolchain can only get even better! The company expands rapidly, providing customers with services such as packaging and warehousing. Such expansion is enough to make you want to party like its 1999!
To ‘consolidate’ our success, we open a new, purpose-designed, 40,000 sq. ft. consolidation centre in Portsmouth. We put our money where our mouth is by investing in new facilities and state-of-the-art cooling equipment. This ensures it becomes the Group’s main distribution centre for the south. Growers from Hampshire, West Sussex and the Channel Islands all rely on the efficiency and effectiveness of the centre. It also helps us to get together all of the flowers and fresh produce imported from mainland Europe.
Going Dutch…the Dart Group PLC forms Fowler Welch BV as a Netherlands registered company, to manage the Distribution Division’s growing international business.
Dart Group PLC forms Channel Express Parts Trading as an operating unit within Channel Express. It supplies aircraft parts and equipment to other airlines and stockists. With this new development, Dart Group PLC creates yet another reason for companies to rely on its support. Channel Express Parts Trading then goes on to acquire two Airbus A300-B4s to provide a multitude of spare parts.
This year also heralds the end of an era, as the final ‘Super’ Dart Herald is retired after many years of loyal service. However, the aircraft’s heritage lives on in the Dart Group title, named after its powerful Rolls-Royce Dart engines.
As a measure of demand for the Group’s shares on the Stock Market, a further 1.6 million shares are placed for Dart Group PLC. This brings the total in issue to 34 million.
Another reason why this year calls for a celebration is that it marks the beginning of John Kerrigan’s outstanding career with the company. John, the National Operations Director for Fowler-Welch, joined after leaving the ‘Big Smoke’ of London for the ‘bright lights’ of what was the Coolchain business in Paddock Wood, Kent. He is now responsible for all of our fleet, plus temperature-controlled, ambient, European, container sites and operations.
Fowler-Welch is strengthened even further by the arrival of John Peall, Deputy Managing Director until 2016. With more than 40 years’ experience in warehousing, John joins as a General Manager, before going on the road to success at the distribution company. As Deputy Managing Director, John has used his great experience to grow the company to full store and pick operations, holding in excess of 25,000 pallets and assembling 1.5m cases.
Acquiring Coolchain ensures Dart Group goes a whole lot further – in every aspect. It means some talented individuals joined us too, and none more so than Dave Cottam, Director of Fowler Welch until 2014. Dave held the fort at Fowler Welch for a fantastic 15 years, during which time the company has grown at a seriously substantial rate with an impressive 12 site locations in the UK and the Netherlands.
Coolchain welcomes the new millennium by reaching a three-year agreement with the Canary Islands’ Federation of Produce Growers. That means it will now provide the labelling, consolidation and nationwide distribution services from the Port of Southampton. This is a momentous agreement, considering the sheer volume of unique produce grown with the year-round sunshine on the Canary Islands (almost 80,000 tonnes reach Southampton annually). The Port of Southampton is also recognised as one of the largest cargo ports in the south of England.
Canary Islands would go on to be more than just a favourite place for Coolchain, as it becomes one of our most popular destinations for our Jet2holidays customers. It’s a great place for a dose of some much-needed winter sun!
In a busy year for Coolchain, it also buys A. Wood & Son (Detling), a former local competitor. This further sets up Coolchain as a market leader.
Dart Group PLC is now darting upwards in size, and has 1,500 colleagues across its divisions:
Dart Group PLC purchases two Boeing 737-300QC ‘Quick Change’ aircraft in May 2001. This new aircraft marks the start of something special; as its special feature would go on to inspire the launch of Jet2.com.
First built in 1984, the Boeing 737-300 was a very popular aircraft right from the start, securing more than 250 orders in its first year. It has many fantastic features, including CFM56 turbofan engines for big reductions in noise and energy usage. Even more impressively, its ‘Quick Change’ (QC) system enables it to change from a 148-passenger to a 16 tonne payload freighter aircraft in 30 minutes.
Because of this nifty little feature, the Boeing 737-300 QC is a top performer for both cargo and passenger markets. It gave Philip Meeson, our Executive Chairman, a smart idea for creating his Jet2.com airline.
Noting its incredible efficiency, the Boeing 737-300QC replaces the Lockheed Electra on the key Royal Mail route between London Stansted and Edinburgh. This results in increased payloads and reduced flight times. Thanks to its impressive ‘Quick Change’ facility, the aircraft is also kept busy during the day and at weekends, operating a passenger charter service.
While the Boeing is the new boy on the block, the rest of our fleet is not overlooked, and the Fokker F27 aircraft are upgraded to ‘Super Friendships’. We fit them with new avionics, including ACAS – the European standard Airborne Collision Avoidance System. The ACAS operates on its own, without air traffic control, and can warn the pilot of nearby aircraft and even reduce the risk of collision. Such an upgrade shows that the Dart Group sets its sights on safety.
As we continue to help other airlines and stockists touch the sky, Channel Express Parts Trading buys two Airbus A300-B2Ks to provide spare parts to the market.
Dart Group PLC keeps on track with its upgrades – it introduces a track-and-trace IT system throughout the distribution division. It also adds a trailer tracking system using a GPS system that drivers everywhere have now come to know and love. This new and improved method helps us manage deliveries and keep a track of route times.
Fowler Welch BV, the Group’s international distribution company, manages 10,000 cross-Channel trailer movements annually between the Netherlands and the UK. In more international developments, Benair launched its ‘special services’ activity at the company’s London Heathrow offices. The aim was to provide ‘hands-on’ management for important shipments.
While our fleet of aircraft is ever improving, we also have a spark of inspiration to improve the passenger experience with the appointment of Phil Ward. After four fantastic years with the company, Phil was promoted to Passenger Sales Director at the start of 2005. This proves to be a smart move, as thanks to Phil’s leadership our ever-growing Jet2.com airline gets the recognition it deserves.
Announcement please…this is the year that Jet2.com, the hugely popular low cost airline, is born!
We’re so buoyed by the successful chartered service of our Boeing 737-300QC fleet; we announce that the first Jet2.com flight will take off in February 2003. We put forward our plan to wing happy passengers to exciting city and sun destinations across Europe.
At Jet2.com, we provide customers in the North with a much-needed convenient, low-cost, and friendly way to fly. That’s why we call ourselves ‘The North’s leading leisure airline’, and we’re known for offering ‘Friendly low fares.’
Jet2.com becomes a trading name of Channel Express (Air Services) Ltd. The company now has plenty of bases covered, operating a contract services division, a low cost airline division and a parts division.
To prepare for the launch, Dart Group PLC purchases a further four Boeing 737-300QCs and four ex-Ansett Boeing 737-300QCs. Ansett was a large Australian airline that once had 23 Boeing 737-300 aircraft, yet again proving the fleet’s popularity for passenger flights. The Boeing 737-300QC’s quieter engine noise and fast flight times are perfect for our passengers. Plus its ‘Quick Change’ facility means we can get it ready to carry a 16 tonne payload within 30 minutes.
Even though Jet2.com is about to take off, we still concentrate on our cargo, purchasing a fourth Airbus A300-B4. We put it into action right away with a contract for TNT, the European market leader for global logistics. In addition, all of the Airbus A300-B4 achieve Cat III approval, a specific category to ensure safer landing.
Jet2.com opens for business on 11th December 2002. It sells 12,000 seats online within the first 24 hours, proving we’ve got the whole of Yorkshire on-board with the launch of our airline.
There’s good news at Fowler Welch too, as it wins a road haulage contract with a major US airline.
Jet2.com operates its first scheduled passenger service from Leeds Bradford to Amsterdam on 12th February 2003. The flight proves a success, and is the start of great things to come. In our gallery to the left, you’ll see that the Jet2.com livery is quite a contrast to Channel Express. Bold red, white and silver colours are now the order of the day, with clear branding of our new name.
Dart Group PLC expands its fleet even further, to serve its fledgling passenger market and established cargo market. We purchase a further eight ex-Ansett Boeing 737-300s, bringing the number in its fleet to fourteen.
Another great era ends when the Channel Express (Air Services) last Lockheed Electra flies its final flight on 2nd May 2003. The aircraft was a favourite of ours for its superhero-style name with a 15-tonne payload to match. This hardy machine was an enduring classic, as it was first launched in 1957.
Fowler Welch and Coolchain combine forces to form one single temperature-controlled distribution company. The company now trades under the name Fowler Welch-Coolchain.
Following the success of its first route, Jet2.com expands to operate routes to Alicante, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Malaga, Milan Bergamo, Nice and Palma. In this way, we connect Yorkshire with a whole range of classy continental destinations.
To go along with the company’s new name, we also have an important new addition to our team of Directors – David Inglis. As Fowler Welch’s Managing Director for almost a decade, David has played a pivotal part in our expansion over the years. Deservedly becoming the company’s Executive Chairman in 2010, David certainly spearheaded our success story, taking in two major acquisitions and five site openings in the process!
Jet2.com flies its 500,000th passenger in March 2004, and then welcomes its 1 millionth passenger on-board in September 2004. Such figures show the speed of our success! Already aiming to expand, we’re on course to begin flights from both Belfast and Manchester airports.
Seven of the Boeing 737-300 passenger aircraft fleet are now based at Leeds Bradford Airport. Here’s a quick travel update – our Jet2.com flights are well on their way to Alicante, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Belfast, Faro, Geneva, Malaga, Murcia, Nice, Palma, Prague and Venice. This tidy collection of destinations gives our passengers all sorts of choices for their next break, whether they’re heading out for the beach, on business, or to the ski slopes.
In the meantime, our air deliveries are still going and growing strong, as Channel Express secures a long-term contract to be the leading aircraft provider of the Royal Mail. We operate seven Boeing 737-300QC aircraft for the Royal Mail, with our first class service the perfect match for delivering their first class domestic mail.
We can’t forget Fowler Welch for this year either, especially as it marks the start of Stephen King’s appointment with the company. Stephen steps in as a fantastic Finance Director for us, managing our treasury at a time of incredible expansion, ensuring our site openings and acquisitions all go smoothly. As an accredited member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, Stephen brings his considerable financial knowledge to the forefront for Fowler Welch.
With 1.3 million passengers flown in the 2004/2005 financial year, Jet2.com aims to spread its wings! We expand by announcing Newcastle as our fourth base. Flights then go on sale for the first new route, Newcastle to Murcia commencing October 2005. In the same year, Jet2.com goes on to announce its fifth base at Blackpool International Airport, followed by its sixth base in Edinburgh. With these expansions, there’s a lot to ‘base’ on our success as the North’s leading leisure airline!
Jet2.com also buys its first Boeing 757-200 aircraft, to enter service in autumn 2005. The Boeing 757-200 proved a popular aircraft since its launch in 1982. There’s a lot to love about it, including improved aerodynamics and high-bypass-ratio turbofan engines that reduce operating costs. Plus, the larger size of this twin-engine jet airliner means that our Jet2.com Boeing 757-200 has a capacity of 232 passengers – a 57% increase compared to its Boeing 737-300!
Dart Group PLC says goodbye to Benair – it sells its interest in Benair Freight International Limited and Benair Freight Pte. to Gulf Agency Company (GAC) for the tidy sum of £5.1 million. We made this move so we can concentrate all our efforts on our fantastic distribution and aviation services.
Just as we’re aiming for the skies, Dart Group PLC shares are transferred between markets operated by the London Stock Market – from Official List to AIM.
After two years of sterling work by the management team, Fowler Welch-Coolchain gains a great deal of extra business from both existing and new customers. The company has success in store by winning storing, picking and distribution contracts that increase the use of its excellent facilities.
To highlight how the Group is going places, Channel Express (Air Services) Limitedchanges its name to the catchier Jet2.com Limited. This is followed up by the announcement that over 5 million passengers have now flown with Jet2.com.
In response to this mightily impressive demand, we buy six more Boeing 757-200 aircraft, bringing our fleet size to eight for this larger aircraft. The Boeing 757-200 is perfectly adapted to travel long distances, so we can offer more even more dazzling destinations in Europe and beyond. The aircraft’s seriously spacious size also offers better efficiency and a greater supply of seats with our famous “Friendly low fares.”
Proving that airlines can be a very rewarding business when you’re as good as us, the quality of the Jet2.com service gets the recognition it deserves when Jet2.com is voted ‘Best European Short Haul Airline’ by the Guardian/Observer Travel Awards 2006.
There’s also great change for Dart Group’s other divisions, as it’s the final stop for our Airbus A300-B4 fleet on 31st March 2006, after eight great years of carrying cargo. The Airbus A300-B4 fleet proved itself a real time and money saver, with its capability to carry a 45 tonne payload in a single delivery. 2006 also marks the end of an era for Channel Express (Channel Islands) Limited, as Dart Group streamlines its channels by selling its interest to Ferryspeed C.I. Limited.
Fowler Welch-Coolchain leads the field by buying local competitor R.F. Fielding Cheshire Ltd to strengthen our national network even further. It also serves to announce its arrival on the ambient market.
In stock market matters, the news this year is that Dart Group PLC splits its shares by four for one, meaning the number of ordinary shares in issue is now over 134 million.
This is the year that Dart Group PLC adds a third string to its bow, with the launch of Jet2holidays.
A major presence in the package holiday market, Jet2holidays offers customers and travel agents “package holidays you can trust.”
We offer very attractive accommodation and transfers. Plus, in a smart move, we offer our low cost Jet2.com flights to wrap up part of this great value package.
Jet2.com also continues to go from strength to strength, as it wins the ‘Best European Short Haul Airline’ at the Guardian/Observer Travel Awards for the second year in a row. Building on its success, its super workforce now exceeds 1,500 colleagues and its destinations now total 42. We also announce a winning sponsorship of the Leeds rugby teams, showing that we don’t have to ‘try’ hard to be a success!
It’s good news for Fowler Welch-Coolchain too, as the Federation of Canary Islands Growers (FedEx) renews its five year contract with the company. With annual imports of almost 80,000 tonnes through the Port of Southampton alone, this contract is a huge success for the Group’s distribution division. Fowler Welch-Coolchain also opens a new site at Washington in Tyne and Wear. The move improves the company’s transport links in the North East, providing all kinds of services including consolidation, pick-to-order, storage, container services and value added solutions.
Yet more signs of our flying success come with the appointment of our captain, Robin Evans, to the Director of Flight Operations. We’re certainly reliant on Robin’s expertise, as he helps us to implement some seriously smart on-board software for even safer flights.
Dart Group PLC makes major strides in money matters too, with the crucial appointment of Andrew Merrick, our Group Finance Director. During his time at the company, Andrew has also completed the New York Marathon and climbed Mont Blanc. You can certainly say we’re at the peak of success with Andrew’s achievements in improving our planning, focus on cash and reporting on performance.
Highlighting its incredible year-on-year growth, Jet2.com announces it flew more than 4 million passengers in a single year. It’s a great way to mark the airline’s fifth anniversary, in a year that also sees us introduce the myJet2 loyalty scheme. We came up with the clever idea of rewarding frequent fliers with points for every pound spent, which they can use against free flights.
The airline also wins a string of awards, including the Best UK Short Haul Airline at the Guardian and Observer Travel Awards 2008 and is ‘Rated Highest’ in the ‘Which? Satisfaction Survey’ ahead of EasyJet and Ryanair.
As an airline used to making milestones, Jet2.com becomes the first low cost airline to offer flights to New York. In fact, our customers are so stoked with our service, we need to increase our fleet just to keep up! We complete a long-term lease of a further Boeing 757-200, taking our fleet size to nine for this aircraft. The Boeing 757-200’s ability to make long distance journeys puts it in great stead for the New York flights. Then we go ahead and increase this capability even further with the winglet upgrade carried out on one of our aircraft!
On a related note, Fowler Welch-Coolchain makes several sprightly upgrades to its operations, including the complete redesign of its Paddock Wood warehouse facility. The company also adds twenty Montracon Reefers to its Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) operation. These extra trailers put Fowler Welch-Coolchain on the trail to success. It is now a major player in delivering products to retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers throughout the UK.
It is also a year for upgrading and enhancing structures, as the new warehouse management system goes live at Fowler Welch-Coolchain. The system, provided by Manhattan Associates, improves the company’s FMCG warehousing and rolls out across the network over the next 12 months. Manhattan Associates puts its 20 years of experience into putting Fowler Welch-Coolchain on the road to success.
Dart Group PLC wins the ‘Enterprise IT Solution of the Year’ at the Channel Network Awards, beating the likes of Selfridges and Coca Cola in the process. The award recognised the excellence of our Jet2.com website, making it easy to book online flights in a matter of minutes. Plus, our newly installed ‘green’ infrastructure delivers round-the-clock resilient computing for employees and customers.
The start of 2009 brings exciting news for Fowler Welch-Coolchain. Firstly, we launch a new website that offers improved navigation, with interesting new content and captivating images. It also secures a new contract with AAK, a global food manufacturer, to transport its ingredients across the UK. Fowler Welch-Coolchain also renews its own contract with Cybit, a telematics market leader which gives us some great data for looking after the temperatures inside our vehicles. The company caps off another successful year by buying Bawdsey Haulage Limited, a specialist in delivering containers, based at the well-connected Port of Felixstowe.
Jet2.com also has a busy year as we lease another Boeing 737-300 aircraft to bring the total fleet size to 32. Setting the way for others to follow again, Jet2.com becomes the first and only low cost airline to offer direct flights from Manchester to Tel Aviv – a place we’ve been making deliveries to from as far back as 1997.
The second half of the year sees Jet2.com expand its operations in Newcastle and announce the launch of a brand spanking new base at East Midlands from May 2010. Jet2.com maintains its commitment to great service throughout, winning ‘Best Travel Internet Booking System’ at the Northern Ireland Travel and Tourism Awards. It also wins ‘Passenger Airline of the Year’ at the Baltic Air Charter Association Annual Excellence Awards.
Jet2holidays launches its first holiday brochure for winter 09/10 to summer 2010 and it’s a real thing of beauty – lovingly produced with lots of glossy photos and enticing info about our resorts. The plucky package holiday company also announces two new holiday destinations: Tel Aviv in Israel and Split in Croatia for summer 2009.
In fact, it’s a fantastic year for Jet2holidays in more than just one way, as this also marks the start of the crucial commercial leadership by Steve Heapy. Joining from MyTravel as Jet2holidays’ Chief Commercial Operating Officer, Steve has heaps of experience in the travel industry. His expertise proves to be vital, as Jet2holidays goes on to grow by over 500 per cent, adding a string of shiny awards to its bow in the process!
We also aim for excellence with the appointment of our HR Director, Richard Chambers. Richard brings a wealth of experience with him from the travel industry, as well as from key HR Director positions at Instore and Talk Talk. It doesn’t take long until we’re the talk of the town too, and expanding the HR Team to match the big-time growth of the business. Enhancing the experience of not just our customers but also our colleagues is what Jet2.com is all about!
On the back of many successful years, Fowler Welch-Coolchain expands its business even further, purchasing a 500,000 sq. ft. 50,000+ pallet capacity ambient distribution centre at Heywood, Greater Manchester. As a major focal point for the company, the centre which is bigger than 70 football pitches gets a great nickname – ‘The Hub’.
Things get packing at the centre from June 2010, with new volumes added to the Tesco Express Format Distribution in August 2010. Fowler Welch-Coolchain also adds to its network at Desborough, Northamptonshire, following a big business win from a blue chip UK manufacturer.
In September 2010, Fowler-Welch-Coolchain is on the road to big things again with a major new appointment to our board of directors. Nick Hay joins us as our Managing Director for an exciting new chapter in our history. Having previously been Managing Director for Samworth Brothers Distribution, Nick bring a wealth of experience with him from the Fast-Moving Commercial Goods industry. In the space of just under two years, Nick has already overseen the opening of two brand spanking new depots for the company.
Meanwhile, Jet2.com welcomes its 20 millionth customer on-board. This massive milestone is marked with the leasing of two more Boeing 737-300 aircraft, whilst we also purchase two further Boeing 757-200 aircraft. This brings the total number of aircraft in the fleet up to 34. Both Boeing machines have already proven themselves as ‘sound’ performers for the Group – the quieter engine noise of the Boeing 737-300QC is brilliant for peaceful passenger flights. Plus that ‘Quick Change’ feature is a top call for cargo.
The cargo section of our business is strengthened even further this year with the appointment of Ian Du Cros, as Director for Mail & Cargo. Our fleet of ‘Quick Change’ aircraft means that whilst we transport happy passengers during the day, at night we’re still reaching for the stars with our cargo deliveries. Ian is instrumental in helping us maintain important cargo contracts with many major delivery providers, and ever improving our reputation for reliable, punctual service. It’s why he’s also been able to secure some top new contracts during his time as a Director too.
This is the year that we also take ‘pride’ in Jet2.com in a completely new and wonderful way. In January 2010, we help rescue 13 lions from the cramped conditions of a Romanian zoo. After living in squalor and facing certain death, we team up with the Yorkshire wildlife Park, as we safely fly the lions from Romania to their new ten-acre paradise near Doncaster. It’s here that they affectionately become known as the ‘Pride of Yorkshire’!
Our part in the world’s biggest ever lion rescue proves such a roaring success that the Yorkshire Wildlife Park name the leader of the lions ‘Jettoo’.
And how about this for a follow-up? In October, we return the compliment by re-naming one of our Boeing 737-300s ‘Jettoo’, accompanied with a vibrant cartoon picture of the famous lion on the nose of the plane! In fact, he proves such a ‘mane’ attraction with Jet2.com customers that we launch a super-cute cuddly toy of Jettoo in 2011. To keep everyone ‘feline’ happy, we also make a donation to the Yorkshire Wildlife Park with every toy sold.
Later in the year, Jet2.com launches its eighth base at Glasgow Airport, supported by a Boeing 737-300 and a Boeing 757-200 based at the site. It’s another successful awards season too. As Jet2.com scoops trophies for ‘Airline of the Year’ at the ISPY awards 2010, ‘Best Website’ at the World Low Cost Airline Awards, and bronze for ‘Best Trade Booking Website (Flights)’ at the British Travel Awards 2010.
Not to be outdone, Jet2holidays has a very rewarding year, with the launch of three bumper brochures in 2010. Customers love the way we presented our first brochure, so we pick things up exactly where we left off. We get much deserved recognition from the travel industry too, winning bronze for ‘Best Tour Operator to the Iberian Peninsula & Canary Islands’ at the British Travel Awards 2010.
2011 picks up right where 2010 left off – yet more great news for Dart Group PLC. Jet2.com enters a cooperative training agreement with The Aviation Academy to train Cabin Crew colleagues. The Aviation Academy is a mighty fine place for facilities, education and business links, making it the perfect partner for Jet2.com. We’ve already won many awards for its great service, and top training for our Cabin Crew serves to improve the customer experience even more.
As a footnote to a busy year, just after our first flights from Glasgow, we lease our first two Boeing 737-800 aircraft. We also lease two further Boeing 757-200 aircraft, taking the total fleet size to 38. Launched in 1998, the Boeing 737-800 is a modern aircraft that delivers spectacular efficiency savings. As part of the Boeing Next Generation series, the 737-800 has increased fuel capacity, quieter engines and a stylish, spacious interior.
Towards the end of the year, Jet2.com can really say it has made it in the North East as we achieve our ambitious plans of being the North East’s biggest leisure carrier. We have carried 2.1 million passengers in the region since its launch at Newcastle Airport six years ago. This position is then further cemented by a major expansion at the airport, creating 100 new jobs.
It’s also another big year for awards at Jet2.com, as we achieve runner up in three categories for ‘Best Airline’ at the TravelMole web awards 2011, ‘Best Airline for Groups’ at the 2011 Group Travel Awards, and ‘Favourite Short Haul Airline’ in the Telegraph readers’ Travel Awards. We also win ‘Best Low Cost Airline’ at the SPAA awards.
Jet2holidays expands its hotel portfolio even further in 2011, releasing two bumper brochures within the year, and launching an entirely new range. Indulgent Escapes offers a bold new approach to luxury holidays, inviting our customers to enjoy the finer side of life with five-star hotels and the outstanding service of Jet2.com low cost flights. Jet2holidays’ ambitious plans to grow its offering of both destinations and accommodation pay off as it wins ‘Best Tour Operator to the Iberian Peninsula & Islands’ at the British Travel Awards 2011. It is also crowned ‘Best Mainstream Short Haul Operator’ at the SPAA awards.
Fowler Welch-Coolchain enjoys a year of expansion, opening new satellite depots at Alconbury in Cambridgeshire and Newton Abbot in Devon. These new developments serve to strengthen Fowler Welch-Coolchain’s transport links across the whole of the UK. Alconbury adds to the company’s container operations services, whilst Newton Abbot provides consolidation, storage and pick-to-order solutions.
Fowler Welch-Coolchain also expands its operations abroad, by moving its Dutch division, Fowler Welch BV, to the ABC Westland commercial hub. Located in Poeldijk, near The Hague, the centre provides increased capacity for docking, consolidating and new warehouse facilities. It has more than 10,000 sq.m capacity, ensuring the Fowler Welch-Coolchain fleet is even more efficient for operating between the UK and the European Mainland.
We’re on to a sure thing for strengthening our reputation for great customer service too, when we appoint Ashley Cowen as the Operations Director for Jet2.com. Ashley arrives at our airline with a wealth of experience in the aviation industry already under his wing. His past pivotal roles include positions at British Airways, CitiExpress, and Heathrow Airport. This expertise ‘serves’ him well for delivering a superb experience for every one of our millions of passengers.
Jet2.com has a winning start to the year by being crowned ‘Best Short Haul Airline’ at the Travel Weekly Globe Travel Awards 2012. The award has extra prestige because travel agents and industry professionals vote for the accolade. Added with the fact that Jet2.com beat stiff competition from the likes of bmi, British Airways, EasyJet, Iberia and Lufthansa, it’s easy to see why our airline is on top of the world with this Globe Award.
However, rather than resting on its laurels, Jet2.com continues to look to the future and further improve its already fantastic service. The airline signs a contract with Newcastle College to provide first-class training for its Cabin Crew. As one of the largest and most successful colleges in the UK, Newcastle College has the top facilities needed to train our future Cabin Crew to the very highest standards. Coupled with our assistance at the new Travel & Aviation Academy in Craven College, Skipton, we recognise the importance of training Cabin Crew to enhance the customer experience.
Jet2.com’s loyalty scheme, myJet2, welcomes its 500,000th member this year. Similarly, Jet2holidays marks a major milestone in 2012, celebrating five years since its launch. Incredibly, passenger numbers have increased by a whopping 500 per cent over this period.
Fowler Welch has much to celebrate too, as we win ‘Primary Carrier of the Year’ in the ASDA Carrier of the Year Awards 2012.
We are also really quite taken with our new ‘Take Me There’ scheme. This company-wide training programme ensures every single one of our Jet2.com and Jet2holidays colleagues has the know-how to create an even better experience for our customers. In the true spirit of collaboration, colleagues from across many different departments join together to talk about how we can all work as one team to set the standard for great service. We like to think this is a neat fit for the friendly and trustworthy approach both companies are known for.
After the training, we put the skills we’ve learnt into practice by following the four key Take Me There principles to Create Memories, Be Present, Work as One Team and Take Responsibility. Putting our customers at the heart of everything we do, the old adage of ‘practice makes perfect’ certainly applies to us!
As we reach the middle of the year, we prove there’s nothing middling about Jet2.com’s group service as we win ‘Best Airline for Groups’ at the 2012 Group Travel Awards. It’s a great achievement all round, especially as the award is voted for by readers of Group Travel Organiser magazine – so those who recognised us certainly know a thing or two about group travel! In fact, we were proud as punch to beat British Airways, Emirates, Virgin Atlantic, Flybe and EasyJet to be crowned worthy winners.
Jet2holidays prove they’re the toast of Yorkshire too, by winning ‘Best Supporting Tour Operator’ at the annual ABTA Yorkshire Ball 2012. Thanks to our focus on offering package holidays you can trust to more than 40 destinations from the conveniently local Leeds Bradford Airport, we’re recognised as the best in our region!
And the awards keep on coming…it’s a superb September for both Jet2.com and Jet2holidays as we scoop the tip-top tourism award for Lanzarote, known as the Isla de Lanzarote 2012. Voted for by a jury of Lanzarote Tourism experts, we’re considered worthy winners as we increase our number of passengers to Lanzarote by a whopping 56% compared to 2011.
If you’ve been paying attention, you may remember reading that Jet2holidays was a winner at the SPAA awards in 2011. Well this year we go more than one better than that, winning not one, not two, but three fabulous awards! Jet2holidays is awarded ‘Best Short Haul Mainstream Tour Operator’ and ‘Best Agent Friendly Website’, while Jet2.com also takes the top spot for ‘Best Holiday/Charter Airline’. The Scottish Passenger Agents Association (or SPAA for short) Annual Awards are the most coveted accolades in the Scottish Travel Industry, so we’re thrilled to be recognised for our commitment to our ever-growing destinations, flights and jobs at Edinburgh and Glasgow Airports.
We’ve yet more ways to ‘Telegraph’ our success this year too! That’s because we’re in the top three for the ‘Favourite Short-Haul Airline’ category at the Telegraph Travel Awards 2012. As 17,000 Telegraph readers voted for the awards, it’s clear that our famed Friendly service is newsworthy.
As early as January, Jet2.com already proves twice as amazing by winning ‘Best Short Haul Airline’ at the Globe Travel Awards 2013 for the second year running! Hosted by the UK’s number one travel magazine, Travel Weekly, the Globe Travel Awards really are the cream of the crop in the travel industry. That’s because they’re voted for solely by those in the know – travel agents!
This year we beat the likes of Air France/KLM, British Airways, EasyJet and Lufthansa. When you think about it, this makes our award all the more impressive, as our votes only came from travel agents around our eight bases in the North of the UK. Yet we still outvoted airlines that operate across the entire country. That shows an overwhelming groundswell of support in our regions!
The award is a nice early surprise before Jet2.com’s 10th birthday on 12th February 2013. That was the momentous date ten years ago when we first took off from Leeds Bradford to Amsterdam. It’s been many happy returns for us since then, as we now fly to more than 50 sun, city and ski destinations.
Jet2.com makes a swift return to its winning ways by scooping the ‘Best Short Haul Airline’ for the third year in a row at the Globe Travel Awards 2014. We see the launch of our spectacular £9.5million stare-of-the-art Training Centre in Yorkshire, complete with three flight simulators. We also roll out our new mobile responsive Jet2holidays website.
Fowler Welch began a partnership with Direct Produce Supplies in a joint venture to create a new business. The aim was to source and deliver the best quality produce all year round through the shortest supply routes, thus giving the UK consumer access to the freshest product at the best prices.
ISS (Integrated Service Solutions) began packing in May 2014 and receives, ripens, packs, weighs and labels produce through a £4 million investment made by Fowler Welch at its distribution centre in Teynham, Kent. As Fowler Welch provides full UK distribution from this location, the supply chain is both simplified and shortened, reducing cost. ISS initially employed 99 colleagues with aim to reach 200 in its first year.
Fowler Welch also enjoys further success winning ASDA Domestic Carrier of the Year, Top performer from the Road Freight Association and a finalist in The Grocer Gold Awards, logistic Supplier of the year.
We welcome more than a million happy customers on a Jet2holiday in the financial year 2014-2015. Jet2holidays also becomes the only European holiday operator to offer an innovative new baggage service, Resort Flight Check-in. Jet2.com launches the Onboard Together programme to stamp out anti-social behaviour onboard. Plus, we’re ready to expand again, acquiring 30 new Next Generation 737-800s from Boeing between 2016 and 2018.
Great news for Fowler Welch as they are announced as a finalists in the Grocer Gold Awards 2015, one of the most prestigious awards in the industry, for the title of Logistics Supplier of the Year.
Fowler Welch invested in a new repacking system at its Heywood Depot, to further assist one of its largest customers, Tulip Ltd, in expanding its ambient range offering and reducing its food miles.
The new system repacked products for Tulip, offering the leading UK food producer a one-stop solution and reducing steps in the supply chain.
Tulip produces a range of fresh, cooked and canned meat products for the UK’s leading retailers, wholesalers and foodservice companies and with the introduction of a new repack system at Heywood, products such as tinned hams and chicken breast can be broken down from packs of 12 to packs of six for simplified distribution.
The flexible, heat-wrap machine and conveyor can handle various pack requirements to process a variety of different consignments – from tinned meat products to cans and bottles – quickly and efficiently.
In 2016, Fowler Welch developed ten customised trailers which would work with Automated Pallet Delivery (APD) systems to fully load or unload 26 pallets in just one minute, reducing the number of empty backloads for the customer.
This bespoke solution improved the efficiency of the customer’s operation and reduced empty running by 252,000 miles, showing a reduction in carbon emissions by 333 tonnes per year – another happy customer for Fowler Welch!
In yet another bespoke project for a customer, Fowler Welch sourced a vehicle that combined a single temperature trailer with the flexibility of a double deck, to move an export product into a cold store facility more efficiently.
Due to technical constraints of the product, Fowler Welch introduced Jumbo trailers which have slightly more height than a standard trailer and bars that lower down from the Jumbo trailer roof to create extra pallet space. This reduced the number of trailers used daily from five to three, saving 80,860 food miles per year, 107 tonnes of CO2 yearly and reducing the cost significantly.
The great growth story continues at Jet2holidays, as we now notch up 1.2 million customers in a single financial year. This stacks up with our other impressive figures, as we not employ over 5,000 colleagues across the UK an overseas. Our airline is also recognised for its great legacy with the Business Achievement Award at the Travel and Hospitality Hall of Fame.
We’re delighted to bring Jet2.com’s friendly low flares and Jet2holidays’ great value package holidays to even more customers with the launch of our 8th base, Birmingham, and our 9th base, London Stansted. Jet2.com is also proud to be ranked the UK’s top airline on TripAdvisor and the UK’s Most Loved Airline on Skytrax.
The 15th September 2016 is a monumental day for us – it’s when our first brand new Boeing 737-800 aircraft come home. Landing at Leeds Bradford, our shiny new aircraft has interior innovations such as sculpted sidewalls, more open space and extra legroom. It’s the first of 30 new Boeing 737-800 aircraft due to be delivered from 2016-2018, with a further order of four more aircraft to bring the total to 34 by January 2019.
There’s also more BIG news for Jet2.com, as we open our new 6,000 square metre Manchester Hangar, so we can maintain up to three aircraft at a time.
Great news for Fowler Welch as they enter into a multi-million pound strategic partnership with Dairy Crest plc, covering storage and logistics at the dairy company’s national distribution centre. The partnership began June 2016, with Fowler Welch taking over the running of all transport operations at Dairy Crest’s state of the art NDC at Bermuda Park, Nuneaton.
Under the 10 year partnership, Fowler Welch will work with Dairy Crest to maximise the capacity of the site as a strategic chilled foods storage and distribution facility for manufacturers and retailers throughout the Midlands.The impressive Nuneaton site is equipped with automated putaway and retrieval systems and with 12,000 pallet locations has capacity for a throughput of 70 million cases a year.
Fowler Welch completes work on its Teynham site extension, adding 50,000 sqft of temperature controlled space to the original facility, making the depot 120,000 sqft in total.
The extension will provide capacity to serve fresh product suppliers growing in and importing through Kent. A range of stoned, exotic and soft fruits will be stored in six ripening rooms that use humidity and temperature to safely ripen fruits from lemons and limes to kiwis and mangoes.
The extension was commissioned to increase the throughput of Fowler Welch’s joint venture with ISS. This has resulted in space for a further 2,500 pallets of rack storage for ISS to store product in chambers of up to four different temperatures, ranging from 0-10°C. This multi-temperature facility allows the customer to consolidate its storage and packing for a vast range of fruits such as apples at 0°C,to limes at 8°C.
We knew that our customers wanted to put their surplus food waste to good use, but often didn’t know how to achieve this, so in September 2016 we partnered with food redistribution charity FareShare to distribute surplus food to charities supporting vulnerable people across the country.
Customers such as Addo Foods, Nature’s Way and Winterbotham Darby quickly came on board, contributing to 371 pallets of food collected from 22 sites in the first eight months. This equates to a total of 213 tonnes of surplus product that has so far provided over 500,000 meals for vulnerable people. Without this partnership, the food would have been sent to landfill where it would have produced the equivalent of 40,470kg of CO2.