Travel with Katie Butler: Both Jet2 and easyJet to expand flights to launch flights from Liverpool from March 2024. Photo: to launch flights from Liverpool from March 2024. Photo: AdobeStock to launch flights from Liverpool from March 2024. Photo: AdobeStock
It's the final countdown! At the time of writing this I am all packed and ready to depart to Corfu on a Jet2holidays educational trip.

Katie Butler writes: Educational trips or FAM (familiarisation) trips are not holidays or freebies, rather huge training opportunities which luckily for us happen to be overseas.

Admittedly, they can be a lot of fun but more so an opportunity to meet with fellow agents and experience hotels and destinations to pass on our knowledge to our customers – but they are far from a holiday.

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Of course, we do manage to fit in a little free time and enjoy some amazing cuisines and dining. However, we are up early for breakfast and on the road discovering hotels and resorts meaning comfortable shoes are a necessity and too much of the local tipple the night before is not recommended.

I am sure I have mentioned that despite the cost of living crisis, the industry is certainly bouncing back with a vengeance. So much so, that last week, it was announced that both and Holidays announced that they would both be flying from new bases in 2024.

On Tuesday last week Jet2 announced that in 2024 it will launch flights from Liverpool which will become the airline’s 11th UK base.

Jet2's first flight out of Liverpool will be to Tenerife, with the Leeds based company offering 20 destinations in total, including Spain, the Canaries, Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, Portugal and Cyprus.

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This news was swiftly followed with an announcement last Thursday from Easyjet that they would open a new base at Birmingham Airport next spring with routes to be announced shortly.

Brilliant news from both airlines who are most certainly 'flying' this year, although it would have been nice to hear that Doncaster would be a new base, as we are still waiting for further news of the airport’s outcome.

Passports, passports passports… a reminder to check the validity on your passport since Brexit.

Under the post-Brexit rules – passports must have been issued less than ten years before your date of departure from the UK and and additional months given on your passport are not valid for travel to the EU.

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Although the rules have now been in place for a good while we are seeing and hearing that some of you are still not fully aware – these rules apply for travel to the EU and so if you are travelling elsewhere your passport may still be valid.

Confusing – yes – and a very easy mistake to make which could be a costly mistake if you get caught out so please do double check.

If you are unsure we are quite happy for you to give us a quick call and we will be more than happy to talk you through it.

A huge 37 per cent of our new bookings made last week were to travel within the next 12 weeks showing that late deal holidays are in high demand and our top selling destinations were Tenerife and Turkey, with Turkey knocking Majorca off the top spot now that the season is in full swing.

Corfu updates next week when you will find out if I managed to resist the local Ouzo!