Budget Jet 2 airline appoints Poulter to create launch work

Poulter Partners has been appointed to handle the £5 million launch of a low-cost airline offering cheap flights to more than nine million people in the North.

The arrival of Jet 2 marks an intensification of the battle between no-frills operators to exploit the region's largely untapped market.

The airline, which will operate out of the Leeds/Bradford airport, is being set up by the Dart group as an extension of its passenger charter flight business from Edinburgh and Stansted.

The Leeds agency, awarded the business in competition with shops in London and Manchester, will create a through-the-line campaign led by TV, radio and poster advertising in advance of the airline's launch in February.

Media arrangements have yet to be finalised.

Jet 2 will fly four 150-seat Boeing 747s to a number of European destinations yet to be announced, but which are likely to include Spain and southern France.

One-way flight prices are expected to start between £15 and £20. Advertising will target both holidaymakers and business travellers.

Philip Meeson, Dart's chief executive, said the Leeds/ Bradford airport would allow it to tap into a catchment area of 9.3 million people who were badly served by the low-cost airline industry.

Ryanair is the only no-frills airline currently operating in the area, with flights to Dublin. Travellers in the area wanting to fly low-cost have to travel to Liverpool to fly with easyJet or go from the East Midlands with bmi baby.

EasyJet is planning to increase its presence in the North by operating services from Newcastle from April.

Meeson cited Poulter's ability to "deliver against some tough objectives and to create a real impact in the marketplace" as the reason for the appointment.

Mark Buckle, the managing partner of the agency, said: "Next to Surrey, Yorkshire has the highest per capita income anywhere in the UK. It's absolutely right for a service of this kind."

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